Chemainus businessman Chris Istace is officially in the running as the B.C. Green Party candidate for Nanaimo-North Cowichan in the Oct. 24 provincial election.
Istace, 46, was confirmed as the Greens’ hopeful in the riding following a campaign launch at Waterwheel Park in Chemainus on Sunday alongside B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau.
“We are thrilled to have a strong, local and engaged person like Chris as our candidate for the B.C. Greens in Nanaimo-North Cowichan,” said Furstenau. “Chris brings a diverse background, and political experience, as a local business owner, community advocate and former local government member. Chris’s enthusiasm and love for our communities and our neighbours has been well-documented.”
Istace said he’s excited to be the party’s candidate in Nanaimo-North Cowichan and talked about his reasons for running.
“As a small business owner, I know the struggles families are facing now. I know how the uncertainty weighs on them and that’s part of what has inspired me to run in this election,” he said. “Together I know we can overcome this adversity and come out as a stronger, more sustainable and cohesive community.”
Istace and his family moved to Chemainus from Saskatchewan about seven years ago. After 21 years in the oil and gas industry and two terms as a city councillor in Estevan, Sask., he said his life changed and he re-focused upon moving to Vancouver Island.
As he hits the campaign trail to try to bring change to the communities within Nanaimo-North Cowichan, Istace realizes campaigning is going to be quite different, but is anxious to reach out to people in the riding to hear about their thoughts, concerns and solutions.
“Our goal is lots of advertising, really connect people with social media, videos,” he said.
Istace also believes with COVID-19, it’s perhaps best to meet with people outdoors in their own comfort zones where space isn’t an issue at various distanced public events.
He had strong feelings initially about the election call by Premier John Horgan because of the co-operation brought about by the arrangement between the NDP and the Greens.
“We need stability; it’s unfortunate calling it now,” Istace said. “It seems government had been working well to get through this. It shows that coalition government can work. The people of B.C. come first, not politics.”
But with the election a reality, “it’s about focusing forward and being positive,” he said.
Michelle Stilwell, Liberal incumbent, is the only announced candidate in Parksville-Qualicum.
The election is Oct. 24.
-files from Cole Schisler/Black Press