Outgoing president of the Nanwakolas Council, Dallas Smith, has been acclaimed as the the 2017 candidate for the Liberals for the upcoming provincial election next May.
At an event Saturday afternoon at the Quinsam Hall, Smith was announced as the riding’s Liberal candidate by minister of energy and mines Bill Bennett, who touted Smith’s ability to bring people together in cooperation.
“Every once in a while a candidate comes along with the life experience and the character to really make a difference as a rural MLA,” Bennett says. “Dallas Smith is a one-of-a-kind candidate with deep roots in the region, an understanding of the local economy and a strong connection to the people.”
Smith says he looks forward to the challenge of rallying the community support he will need to become their representative in the provincial legislature.
“I want to give the North Island the voice it deserves in the legislature,” Smith says, “to change the tone from the ‘no-not here’ of the NDP to a strong message: Northern Vancouver Island and its people are ready to welcome good jobs and investment.”
Smith is also the founder and president of the Tl’ axsam Scholarship Fund – a bursary set up in memory of the honourable Stan Hagen available to First Nations students attending North Island College – serves as the vice-president of the BC Amputee Golf Association, and works with the Wounded Warriors program and First Swing clinics with military veterans returning home from war with amputations.
Smith’s “roots run deep on the Island,” reads the release on his acclimation as the party’s candidate, “where he lives with his wife Toni and their two daughters, Amelia and Lucy. His mother is a teacher who resides in Alert Bay and his father is the Chief of the Tlowitsis and lives in Campbell River.”
Smith becomes the 58th Liberal candidate announced province-wide for the upcoming election, which will take place May 9.
NDP MLA Claire Trevena, who currently serves as opposition critic for the Ministry of Transportation, is the only other candidate who has been announced thus far for the riding.
Trevena has been the North Island representative in Victoria since 2005.