Today’s Poll

BC Election 2017: Tanya Wall — Believes Best choice for Nelson-Creston

John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
By John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
May 1st, 2017

On Tuesday, May 9, voters in BC will elect members to the Legislative Assembly in the 41st British Columbia general election.

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 reporter John Boivin speaks with Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B director and Creston resident Tanya Wall of the BC Liberal Party.

The candidate for the BC Liberals knows what she’s facing trying to defeat the incumbent New Democrats in the Nelson-Creston riding.

“I grew up in a family that was very NDP, very NDP,” she says. “I grew up seeing Corky Evans in our community and understanding what he stood for.

“When I told my parents I was running for the BC Liberal party, I was actually asked to leave the house.”

But while she understands why the region has voted NDP, Wall says she feels its also been a lot harder for the riding’s business owners, politicians and other folk to get support from the province without having a government MLA in the halls of power.

She wants to be that MLA- and says she thinks the more people know about her, the more they’ll see she’s the best choice for Nelson-Creston.

Wall is an experienced regional politician, a former two-term Creston town councillor and current Regional District of the Central Kootenay director for Area B. She says she’s worked well with the provincial government on several projects in the last decade, and her own experience as a small business person and consultant gave her a ‘natural affinity’ for the Liberals.

Her training is in in the environmental health and safety field. She’s worked as a consultant with industries including forestry, construction, and manufacturing.

Wall currently lives in Erickson with her son Jeramie on a small acreage.  She and her partner are now working on renovating an old hotel in Creston into a restaurant, tap house and arts facility.

And her family? Well, they’ve forgiven her.

“Now my dad is one of my strongest supporters and is on my sign crew,” she laughs.

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

Tanya Wall: There are many issues facing the Nelson-Creston riding and from past local government experience I have learned that what may be important to one person may not be another persons issues.  That is why I believe we need to have balance and be able to listen to all concerns.  Some direct issues that I have already been working on are affordable housing, but I believe this needs to be revisited and together we can increase the opportunity for small rural communities.  Another is food security and the growth of agriculture products and supply.  Agriculture is a passion for me and I love being able to share with the rest of the province the diversification of small and larger producers in our area. 

Another key issue is infrastructure investment, we need to ensure that our small communities are being heard and that we are seeing our communities  invested in through support from the provincial and federal government which directly impact all residents. Finally the key to any community, jobs and business investment.  We need to ensure that we are supporting local businesses and focusing on increasing the opportunities for more jobs.  Small rural communities are diversified but also so reliant on businesses and sector employment to ensure a strong local economy. 

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

Tanya Wall: The BC Job Plans, which highlights supports for individuals and business owners.  The BC Job Plans supports cutting the small business tax rate to help spur job growth.  When businesses are strong and healthy they re invest into their businesses and expand creating more jobs.  Our plan is to invest into job creation and to keep growing employment activity in BC.  We also need to invest into the right job sectors for our regions so that we have people properly trained in all the required fields of employment.

TND: 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?

Tanya Wall: Through my experiences as a councillor and RDCK director I have been involved with our current government for over 9 years.  In my opinion I am in support of the direction with our current government and we have seen investment in our area but, I think we have a huge opportunity to increase the investment and attention with the election of a new MLA.  I feel that our local issues have not been addressed nearly often enough and that is because we have been represented by an MLA on the opposite side of government.  We need to a strong voice and someone that is able to work with the government which is always easier if that representative is on the same side of government.

TND: 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?

Tanya Wall: On a provincial level we need to stayed focused on job creation, investment into health care and education.  For our area we need to ensure that we are part of the discussions on Tourism and Recreation and advocate to see investment into assisting to build this area as a tourism region.

Investment into healthcare for rural communities is so important.  Attracting doctors and nurses that will provide emergency services in our hospital is essential, and having access to the right equipment to provide all options of care for patients.

Education, ensuring that our school are funded properly so that our children can be provided with an education that is so critical to our future.  We need to investment into new schools in rural areas and ensure that we have teaching and support staff to provide education. 

How do we do this, we ensure that we have a voice at the table when the budgets are being set.  We need to ensure that we have an MLA willing to stand up and advocate for the importance of rural communities and ensure we get the right level of funding required to sustain and improve our services in our communities.

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

Tanya Wall: Work experience and 35 years of living in this area.  My family moved to the Creston Valley when I was seven years old and I have grown up in this area, its my home.  I have work experience and education in the fields of Environment and Health and Safety, with experience in beverage manufacturing, construction and the forestry sector. 

Nine years of local government experience at the municipal level as I served two terms as a councillor for the Town of Creston and at the Regional District level as I am currently a RDCK Director for Area B, representing one of the largest farming areas in the RDCK.  I understand the political requirements and what our communities are facing day in and day out.

I am also a business owner, so I understand the struggles and successes of business and the importance of small and large business sectors and how they are so critical to our small communities.  Most importantly I am passionate about our area and am committed to working hard to improve our areas.  Dedicated to working with organizations, business owners and residents to make our area strong and viable for years to come.

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

Tanya Wall: Being a local MLA, advocating for the importance of small rural communities.  Ensuring we see investment into our areas and that our concerns are being heard.  Working to represent the sectors that make up our area and that are so important for our future.  Working for the people, through my experience in local politics I have learnt that there are many issues and they are all important.  Its about finding the balance and the opportunity of timing  to make the largest impact.

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