Today’s Poll

BC Election 2017: Jesse O'Leary — An Independent that could do a much better job

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 4th, 2017

It’s close tonail-biting time for candidates as voting has commenced in BC’s the 41st general election with advance polls now open.

On Tuesday, May 9th the rest of voting will conclude to elect members to the Legislative Assembly in Victoria.

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

Today, The Nelson Daily speaks Independent Candidate Jesse O’Leary.

Jesse O’Leary is not one of those conventional candidates vying for a seat in Victoria as a member for Nelson-Creston.

The Sparwood native, who now calls Kaslo home, has no backing and no party to draw experience from in this 2017 BC Provincial Election.

However, that hasn’t stopped the Video Game Designer from tossing his hat into the ring as one of the two Independent Candidates for the May 9 election.

“Currently I am 110 percent dedicated to this campaign and the people of Nelson-Creston,” said O’Leary, who graduated from high school in 2008 before studying at The Art Institute of Vancouver from 2008 – 2010.

“The way I’m running independent, I can hardly find time to sleep,” added O’Leary, who during the Chamber of Commerce Forum said he was frustrated with the traditional provincial parties in BC.

“I take this very seriously and feel confident that I have a good shot at winning the election.”

The Nelson Daily: What is the biggest issue facing the Nelson-Creston riding? How would your party address this issue?

Jesse O’Leary: The biggest issue depends on who you ask. I was talking with a senior about a project I have in mind that would benefit young artists and entrepreneurs. I told him how I would fund it with a portion of my own salary… and he told me “No, don’t do that! That’s your money…” 

So, I shifted gears and started talking about a project that would effectively deal with the senior transportation issue in our area. All of a sudden, he supported my choice to personal invest…

It was a good wakeup call! Sometimes I forget that most people are much more concerned about themselves then others. This is somewhat alien to me. I find great value in being able to understand the needs, concerns and perspectives of others.

There are many problems that can be solved in creative ways. Once I understand the details of specific issues I can come up with a plan to solve it quickly at a local level… The “Biggest” issue people have in general is a disconnect from each other and the natural environment.

I will address everyone’s concerns as quickly and effectively as possible and work to build greater communication between different groups of people in our communities.

The Nelson Daily: What specific party policies do you have in place to address the issue of employment in the region?

Jesse O’Leary: Specifically, I’m not associated with any party.

However, I have plans to kick start many new companies and businesses with a portion of my personal salary and funding that I will secure from other sources. Companies that will turn waste from our forestry industry into beautiful value added log furniture. Organizations that would offer educational opportunities to the people within our communities. All sorts of businesses that would lead BC into a more environmentally friendly economy based on the intelligent management of our natural resources.

In short I have a plan to create hundreds of new jobs in the Nelson-Creston riding in a very short period of time after I’m elected and thousands more throughout BC in the following 4 years. These new jobs would strengthen and diversify our economy while leading us towards a more environmentally aware way of doing business.

The Nelson Daily: What is your opinion of the record of the current provincial government in dealing with issues and people’s needs in the Nelson-Creston riding?

Well… Let’s just say I believe I could be doing a much better job. There are good reasons why the average voting turnout is down to 50%. I’m more then irritated by the inability of our government to solve issues in a quick effective manner.

The Nelson Daily: On the wider, provincial level, what do you think is the most important issue the next government needs to address? How would your party accomplish it?

Jesse O’Leary: Climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity. Over all people’s shortsightedness and stagnancy is alarming to me. We need to restructure our incentive systems so that industries are positively encouraged to act more responsible in regard to the natural environment. We need to be looking at minimizing environmental impacts while maximizing economic gain. Doing more with less.

Again, I don’t have loyalties to a political party, I’m Independent. I will propose to the legislative assembly new directions the province could be taking to creatively deal with industrial byproducts, move more quickly towards sustainability and investigate the carbon tax.

I share many similarities to the NDP and Green party and in Victoria will be working with them. But, the biggest difference between my campaign is that I’m dedicated to investing in a large portion of my personal salary and funds from other sources into encouraging the growth of new companies that will make this shift quicker and smoother. Check out my website for more details

The Nelson Daily: What do you bring to the table as candidate that makes you the best choice for voters in Nelson-Creston?

Jesse O’Leary: I choose to live simply and because of this have written a contract with the people of our riding to invest at the very least 50 percent of my salary into community based projects that will address local issues on a grass roots level. Thanks to my education I see countless possibilities to move forward and as your MLA you will see more positive change around Nelson-Creston in my first year then you have in decades. As the day’s go on I’m becoming more confident of my capabilities and chance to win this election without staking one ugly yard sign in the ground.

The Nelson Daily: What role do you see for yourself if your party forms the next government?

Jesse O’Leary: That would be the day! An independent government… We need to work on that for 2021. But let’s be realistic. As an independent it’s possible that I will hold a lot of power over final decisions. Especially if the government is somewhat balanced. This is because I have no allegiance to a parties’ agenda and can vote in the best interest of the people of Nelson-Creston and BC, as a whole. One vote can sway the balance of power. In Victoria, my role will be to sway the balance of power towards the most intelligent path forward for humanity.

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