Longtime Ladysmith town councillor Duck Paterson is running for the BC Liberals in the 2020 provincial election.
Paterson has sat on council for 32 years — 30 of which he has served consecutively. He has also been involved with community organizations like the Ladysmith Kinsmen and the Ladysmith Festival of Lights.
With his lengthy experience in municipal politics, Paterson said that running for provincial politics is a natural progression for him.
“The higher level of politics has always interested me,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to try it.”
Council has been notified that Paterson is seeking election, and he will continue to serve on Ladysmith town council. If Paterson is elected, he will step down from council, which would result in a municipal byelection.
Paterson is running in support of the Liberal’s Comeback Plan for B.C., which calls for tax relief and financial supports for the safe reopening of small businesses. Paterson’s top priority for Nanaimo-North Cowichan is increasing economic activity and creating jobs in the region. Paterson pointed to developing the Duke Point industrial area, increasing forestry activity and supporting local tourism as sectors for job growth.
“In the coming years, to pay for all the pandemic spending, we need to find new sources of revenue other than just taxation. We have some great natural resources, and handled properly, we can make it work economically and environmentally,” Paterson said.
On the note of the pandemic, Paterson said that the NDP’s decision to call an election during the pandemic is “totally wrong.”
“There really was no need for it. The government was riding in a good position, thanks in large part to Dr. Bonnie Henry. So, just to try and guarantee themselves another mandate without thinking about the public is totally wrong.”
Overall, Paterson hopes the election will result in a Liberal government and that there will be a spirit of working across the aisle in the legislature.
“We need to work collaboratively because the bottom line is that we’re elected by the people to look after them, and they’re expecting us to do that.”