Musician and political activist continues walk across B.C.

At age 74 Ted Musson hopes his walk across B.C. will be the last of his “political shenanigans.”

Ted Musson started the Vancouver Island portion of his walk across B.C. on Monday. He is protesting the governments treatment of kids in their care.

At age 74 Ted Musson hopes his walk across B.C. will be the last of his “political shenanigans.”

He started in Campbell River Monday afternoon, having already walked from the border to Hope, B.C. before medical complications waylaid him in Victoria for a few months.

Musson is walking to protest the government’s treatment of the children under their care. He believes the programs have been underfunded in the name of keeping a balanced budget.

He hopes his walk will impact the outcome of the upcoming provincial election.

“I don’t know if I have changed a single vote, but I feel like I am doing the right thing,” he said. “Probably the biggest reason for that is that it kind of makes me feel good that rather than sitting around reading what Christy Clark is doing…get out and whether it is effectual or not, at least get in her face any way I can.”

This is Musson’s second big walk to in protest of the government, four years ago he walked across Canada in protest of Stephen Harper. At the time he was going up to 25 km a day but it still took him 2.5 years to complete the trek.

Because he was doing the trip alone, he would drive ahead, park his camper walk back to the spot where he had last stopped and then walk back to his camper. Now he has made everything more efficient by parking, hitchhiking back to the spot where he last stopped and then walking back to the camper.

“There were times on the drive to Victoria I was penniless, looking over the edge into the abyss, it got so close sometimes that when I look back on it I marvel, ‘wow that is so cool that you made it through that,’” he said.

These days he is walking a lot less kilometres in a day. On Monday he started at Walmart and walked to the corner of Rockland Road and Island Highway.

After making it to Victoria, Musson said he plans on staying there until the election and then heading to Nelson. During his first big walk he was stuck there for almost a week figuring out some pension paperwork and he fell in love.

He plans on teaching Kindergarten students to play the fife while he is there.

“My attitude isn’t I want a whole bunch of kids to be fife players, no I want a whole bunch of kids to be musically sophisticated for their age,” he said.

Musson only started taking music lessons later on in life. Though he knows he loved music as long as he can remember, he thought that people were born with musical talent. It wasn’t until he was 25-years-old and drinking brandy-sodas with a friend who was a pianist that he learned otherwise. The musician sitting across from him said he was only as good as he was because when he was three-years-old, his grandma stood behind him at the piano with her hands over his showing him how to play.

More than 50 years later, he wants to share his hard-earned musical talent with the next generation.

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