Nanaimo-North Cowichan: Routley running on party platform issues

NANAIMO – Doug Routley, Nanaimo - North Cowichan MLA, sees forestry, seniors care, education, negative politics as key issues.

Doug Routley

Doug Routley

Doug Routley, 41, incumbent New Democratic Party MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, is hoping for a third term in office and to see his party form government in this year’s election.

Routley was born in New Westminster, grew up in Duncan and has lived on Vancouver Island most of his life where he worked in forestry – as a logger, tree planter and in a sawmill – as well as a construction worker, business owner and operator, school custodian and union representative.

Routley served as MLA in the former riding of Cowichan-Ladysmith for 2005-09.

Routley was a bicycle racer and is still an avid cyclist. While in Japan, teaching English as a second language in the early 1990s, he was given the North American rights to Zunow, hand-built, high-end steel bike frames, which were marketed in Canada and the U.S.

Routley said he hopes to be re-elected by continuing to do what he and the party have been doing.

“I’ve been two terms now in opposition and when you’re in opposition you’re out there listening to people and doing what the government should be doing and that’s listening and finding out what people’s problems are,” Routley said. “I guess when government stops listening to those voices, they imperil themselves and that’s where we are now.”

Routley wants to refocus the government on making education a priority and investing in K-12 and post secondary education.

“That’s really where the foundation of a thriving economy and a healthy society are laid,” Routley said. “It’s important for us to rebuild those services and that really excites me. That’s the main focus of our campaign.”

Routley also wants to see union and corporate donations banned from the election process.

B.C. Ferries, education, seniors care and forestry – particularly raw log exports – he says, are the main issues in his riding for this election.

“I have worked in the forest industry and my thinking is that a healthy forest is the lungs of the planet and a healthy forest industry is the heart of a thriving economy – and it’s renewable,” Routley said. “It kind of answers everything if we manage it properly and there is a lot of potential as we improve markets in the U.S. to do better at adding value to the resource.”

Routley said he wants, even over being re-elected, to see if party leader Adrian Dix’s agenda of a positive approach to politics is successful to bring an end to negative politics and campaigning and the alienation of the voting public.

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Also running in Nanaimo-North Cowichan are Mayo McDonough (Green), John Sherry (B.C. Conservatives) and Amanda Jacobson (B.C. Liberals).