Terry Lake is no stranger when it comes to politics – he has an 11-year history serving in both municipal and provincial governments – but he is still passionate about fighting for what he believes in. He says right now he's focused on making sure his daughters can work and live in B.C.
“It's important we keep a free enterprise government,” Lake says, noting he moved to Kamloops at the tail end of the NDP era when the city had an unemployment rate of over 12 per cent.
Now the rate is hovering around the 5.5 per cent mark, which is near historic lows and continuing to build on skills training and resource development will help ensure the rate stays low, Lake says.
In the North Thompson constituency about 75 per cent of people are right in Kamloops, Lake says, but the rest are spread out to Barriere, Clearwater and even Blue River. He says the elected representative must travel a lot and see to the diverse needs of people living in a variety of situations.
These rural areas often hold the key to resource development in the province, with mills, mining and tourism making up a big part of the economy, and these benefits spill over into Kamloops – usually in the form of jobs.
Lake says attracting physicians to both the rural areas and Kamloops is very important and the region is just starting to see the benefits and impact of the investment the Liberal government has made in the training and recruitment of doctors and nurses.
As the environment minister for the past two years Lake has faced a lot of criticism over his willingness to develop resources in the province. When it comes to the environment and resources, Lake says the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.
“British Columbia can be the model for the world,” Lake says of developing the resources the province is known for, “Much of our wealth comes from land and water, we can't ignore that. It is our duty to develop them responsibly.”
Lake is proud of what he has accomplished as MLA and is proud to stand behind Christy Clark as well.
“I hope I have shown constituents I work hard and they will consider the party and the candidate. I can't be liked by everybody but I hope they will look at the big picture.” he says of himself and as for the premier, “There is no one that cares more or works harder, Christy is a tiger, is devoted to B.C.”
He says he realizes “governments don't get it all right, but we got the big things right.”
As a minister Lake says the responsibilities are wide and he is away from home more often. Lake says it often feels like he is in final exam week all the time, having to ready and study document after document.
“It is hard, I don't think I appreciated how hard it would be, I really rely on my staff.”
Aside from the adjustment he has made over the past two years as a minister, Lake is now adjusting to a different style of campaigning. Social media has changed the political landscape and while it makes it easier to keep in touch it also makes it easy to lose the connection with people, Lake says.
“It's not old school anymore,” he says, noting the rise of cell phones and Twitter have resulted in less door knocking and phone calls to houses.
But he has embraced Twitter, using it to get his message out but not to engage in individual conversations – he still prefers to leave that to the old school methods of in person or on the phone.
Adjusting to life as a provincial politician has also meant getting used to being away from his wife more often – but also means she gets control of the remote more often Lake points out with a smirk — on the other hand she also has to take the dog for early morning runs when he is not home.
Your other Kamloops-North Thompson candidates:
Kathy Kendall, NDP
Ed Klop, Conservative
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