FORMER SKEENA MLA Roger Harris is hinting he may attempt a political comeback.
Defeated in the May 2005 provincial election after one term in office, Harris says he may seek elected office again.
“I’ve always taken an interest in the community, and whether I can do more by elected office or other means,” said Harris last week.
He noted that the next planned provincial election is 2013.
“I actually will be making that decision when I get closer to it,” Harris said of the election date.
Harris made the comments in the context of stating his support for former Liberal cabinet minister and talk show host Christy Clark who is running to replace Gordon Campbell as provincial Liberal leader and premier.
Harris said he thought long and hard before deciding that Clark was his choice among those running.
“They are all good candidates,” said Harris of others who are running, “but Christy brings the qualities that we need to bring excitement back and we need excitement. I think the public is looking for real change.”
“She’s different,” Harris continued of Clark. “She brings a real passion to the job and that’s the kind of thing that’s been missing. We need that passion.”
Harris and Clark were both MLAs in the first Gordon Campbell government of 2001-2005 and were also cabinet colleagues – Clark as education minister and Harris as minister of state for forestry operations.
Clark left politics voluntarily while Harris was defeated by Robin Austin, Skeena’s current NDP MLA.
Harris said he was particularly excited about the idea that should Clark become leader and, by definition premier, that she would take the Liberal party into the next election.
“There’s never been a woman [in Canada] directly elected before. There have some who became premier afterward, but never from an election,” said Harris.
After his defeat, Harris worked for a number of entities, including a group devoted to developing a port at Kitimat.
He was also the safety ombudsman for the BC Forest Safety Council and most recently was a vice-president of aboriginal affairs and community partners for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project.
Harris has also undertaken a variety of freelance consulting contracts. One of those was with the City of Terrace in the immediate years following his 2005 defeat.