BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness saddled up on Friday to spur his byelection campaign in Chilliwack-Hope.
Not a very efficient campaign method is this age of social media, the candidate agreed.
“This isn’t really about efficiency, but highlighting the agricultural nature of the constituency,” he said, during a campaign stop at the Sequoia Gardens store on Chilliwack Central Road.
He told a small crowd there that B.C.’s agrifood sector provided more than 61,000 jobs (in 2010) and generated close to $10.5 billion in provincial revenues.
The BC Liberal government wants to “grow” that sector to $14 billion by 2017 with several farm-related initiatives, he said.
“Agriculture is really important to our government, really important to our riding and really important to me,” Throness said.
It’s also really important to Chilliwack farmers who want their “multi-generational” farms to continue under the family name.
“It’s important for us to keep our children involved in agriculture,” said farmer Gord Mathies. “So many have left because of the difficulties of farming.”
“We don’t want to see our kids taken off the farm,” he added. “We want to see them working in a healthy and viable business.”
Walter Dyck, chairman of the Chilliwack Agricultural Commission, was also on hand telling Throness about the troubles the BC Liberal carbon tax had caused poultry farmers like himself.
The tax has also hit the greenhouse industry hard, and the BC finance minister has already announced “some sort of short term relief” may be introduced before the end of the year.
If elected, Throness said, he will be listening and taking farmers’ issues to the B.C. legislature.
Resident David Maljaars, who must have been surprised to see the candidate come riding up his driveway on a big Friesian light draft horse, said it was “a neat little gesture,” but Throness already had his vote.
“But I was happy to have him come over here and meet him,” he said.