Prince George School Board trustee Lois Boone announced Thursday she will seek the NDP candidacy for the Prince George-Peace River riding.
Boone is the first candidate to seek the NDP nomination in the riding left vacant by former MP Jay Hill’s retirement on Monday.
Boone said she sees the federal government’s role in implementing the harmonized sales tax as one key issue in the riding.
“The Conservative government has had a free run on this. A year ago they voted to impose the HST on British Columbians with full knowledge that it was done without public consultation or consent,” Boone said. “That kind of arrogance is unacceptable. I’m the kind of person, that when I get upset about something I do something about it.”
Boone was an NDP MLA in the Prince George North and Prince George-Mount Robson ridings from 1986 to 2001. During her term in office she served as minister of government services, minister of municipal affairs and housing, minister of transportation and highways, minister for children and families, and deputy premier.
She is currently serving her second term as a trustee with the Prince George School District. In addition, Boone served as a school trustee for four years prior to becoming an MLA.
Boone said she has always been a strong advocate for northern B.C. and hopes to take some, “northern feistiness,” to Ottawa.
Removing the federal sales tax on home heating and restoring federal grants for energy-efficiency upgrades to homes are also a priority, she said.
“We need to work to promote sustainable jobs and alternative energy,” Boone said. “I think we need to stop the export of northern jobs with a potentially dangerous oil pipeline.”
The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, currently in the federal environmental review process, would create few long-term jobs and pose a significant risk to the environment, she said.
“(And) I want to stress the importance that the prime minister call a byelection soon,” she said. “I do not think it’s appropriate that this riding be left out in the cold without representation for too long.”