KAMLOOPS - With roots through the North Thompson dating back generations, Dan Hines knew that when he stepped into politics this was the riding he'd want to represent.
Other than brief stints living in the United States and elsewhere in B.C. for school, the 51-year-old has lived in Kamloops his whole life and has put his own roots down here, however the Green Party candidate for Kamloops-North Thompson MLA hasn't planted traditional roots.
While his two daughters began going to school, a friend of Hines reached out to him and his wife after seeing a sustainable living movie.
Now, Hines and his wife share a modern, sustainable home called an intentional community with four others. The group came together about six years ago and decided to design and build their home, naming their group the Rare Birds Co-op.
There are six units in the home about 400-square-feet in size which include a bedroom, bathroom and miniature living room.
"They really are a little... suite, but then the common kitchen is where the hub of the house is," Hines says. "We eat our meals in common so that’s the different energy in the house than if we had a little apartment or co-housing arrangement."
As an introvert, Hines values every bit of privacy he can get in his home. He recharges by meditating, doing yoga, or even going out for a walk.
"I chose to kind of jump into politics and be a candidate, and go and door knock every day and meet people… (but) I’m a deeply introverted person," Hines says. "It comes at a huge cost, because my recharge is solitude and I find that it really is a big individual cost to be on the game and be out there."
Going into politics was a jump from Hines' career as a travelling Anglican priest, a part-time post he's returned to since bouncing around through different jobs.
"I started off focused on being a priest and then sort of took a break from church all together for a number of years," Hines says. "I went into contracting... working with my hands, into horticulture, then it was nine years as a supervisor and manager at the B.C. Wildlife Park."
He also taught horticulture part time at TRU. He says he's gradually gone back into church life as a part-time priest.
"We call (it) a worker priest, which means I work outside of the church for income but I volunteer my time in the church."
Hines' career as a priest has allowed him to travel across North America for retreats and workshops, especially in the past three years since he's been freelancing full time.
"I'm really trying to develop more and stay closer to home," Hines says. "That’s why I’ve been freelancing and then politics kind of happened."
Hines has always been interested in politics and has had deep interests in government, but he says he started to notice something restless in him.
He started feeling like the game was 'rigged' for hard working people and at the same time was growing more concerned with climate change.
"I realized I could keep doing the work I was doing which was great," Hines says. "Seeing people motivated and inspired to live into their calling and one heart at a time, it’s really beautiful work. But I felt a need to be... more in the mess of the game, more just mucking it up in the actual stalls themselves of the political power machine."
He says running for the Greens was a no-brainer for him because he already aligned himself with their policies including education, health care and the environment. Hines believes young people are part of the "Green movement" and says if they show up to vote, the Greens could have a good shot this election.
As for the Kamloops-North Thompson riding, it too seemed a natural fit for Hines, whose Grandpa Roy was a sheep rancher who came to the Interior during the Great Depression, setting his roots in Pinantan Lake.
When his father started logging, he moved the family to Brocklehurst in the mid-1960s when Hines was born. On his mother's side, his Grandpa Len was the game warden in Kamloops for decades, while his grandmother was a home care nurse in the community.
"North Kamloops, North Thompson Valley, Pinantan Lake... that’s my roots."
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