Today’s Poll

Election 2017: Tom Prior, independent candidate — Adding some value to the party system election

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
April 27th, 2017

To help voters gain some insight into the five candidates vying for the Nelson-Creston seat in the May 9 BC Provincial Election, The Nelson Daily will profile all five of the candidates running.

Today The Nelson Daily reporter Tim Schafer writes about Independent Candidate Tom Prior.

Call him the value-added candidate.

Tom Prior may be running in the provincial election as an independent candidate, but he is all about bringing ecologically sane, value-added timber, mining, milling, agriculture and other value-added jobs back to the resource-laden Nelson/Creston riding.

“Our job creation potential for timber, mining and agriculture have been abandoned politically,” he said. 

“It would appear the current Nelson/Creston regional, provincial and federal representatives cannot connect the dots that would help kick start value-added production for our raw materials, that are being gleefully given away by current provincial/federal politicians and the confusing maze of forestry and environmental bureaucrats.”

The place for an independent within the current party system legislature is obvious, said Prior.

“B.C.’s political parties waste too much time with internal party squabbling and restricting who can and cannot run in favour of political correctness,” he said. “The goal of our efforts to elect ‘independent’ citizens is to regain the interest of the general public to the importance of breaking down what appears to be a degradation of sanity in our body politic.”

Forty years ago Prior arrived from North Bay, Ont. to attend Selkirk College in Castlegar to study first year biology and English. Prior then found work planting trees, buying into a land co-operative in Argenta and joined the “back to the land” movement. 

The many facets of Prior continued to develop over the years as he travelled in the circles of construction, cedar salvage, firefighting and property development, all the while fostering a tendency toward poetry, music and amateur film documentary.

In 1982 Prior started a retail/wholesale, clothing/jewellery store in Nelson called Mountain Pass Imports and lasted 25 years on Baker Street. 

His environmental involvement continued throughout the years as he helped start — with other volunteers — the West Kootenay Eco-Society. Several years ago he was part of a small group of people to successfully stop destructive private dams on Glacier and Howser creeks.

“Fortunately, the campaign brought many concerned citizens together in formal opposition and has stopped most of the destruction and privatisation of our water sources, something that should never be held in private interests,” Prior said on his website.

Presently Prior is currently developing a greenhouse business and grow organic produce for local restaurants and markets.

— Source:

How well do you think the provincial government has served the people of the Nelson-Creston riding?

The B.C. government has sold B.C. to national and international corporate fascists.

What is the biggest issue facing the Nelson-Creston riding as you see it? 

The biggest issue facing B.C. is a lack of wisdom in our political body. I’m helping by encouraging the “phoenix of wisdom” to rise.

How would you address this issue?

I would begin the political process to return the common wealth the corporate overlords and our incumbent political elite has set aside for themselves. 

I would inspire local self-employed and working folk to find the courage to face the dark shadow of globalization. 

We have unemployment in Nelson/Creston because we are gleefully exporting millions of raw logs. We have had zero inspiration for a value-added economy from B.C.’s lack lustre socialists.

What specific ideas do you have to address the issue of unemployment in the region?

It is important that we reverse the “poverty” concept. There is a growing group of professionals that depend on “poverty” for their gainful employment. 

There is an inherent danger that we will convince ourselves that we are poor, while we are being blatantly robbed of our wealth.

On the provincial level, what do you think is the biggest issue the parties need to address, and how would you accomplish it?

Boom and bust resource extraction economic values is the biggest issue facing B.C. political parties. We need to get involved in the emerging ecological sane economic trend as Germany and other European countries have embraced. I would inspire folks to demand change.

What do you bring to the table that would make you the best choice for voters in the Nelson-Creston riding?


What role do you see yourself playing if you are elected to the provincial legislature?

My role would be to protect future generation from the greed of the current generation.

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