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Election Profile — Long list of community involvement, entrepreneurial spirit brought to BC Liberal table by Finley in Nelson-Creston

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
October 15th, 2020

An entrepreneurial spirit and leadership in the community are the hallmarks of Tanya Finley’s life and now her campaign for the candidacy of the Nelson-Creston riding.

As a representative of the BC Liberal Party in the coming provincial election, Finley might not have MLA experience on her resume, but she has extensive work in the community on various boards and through her business, Finley’s Bar and Grill and Sage Wine Bar.

With her husband, Brent, she’s owned and operated Finley’s since 2003 and when COVID-19 turned the hospitality industry upside down, she worked around the clock to protect her employees and ensure that the business could rebound as quickly as possible.

Currently she is the president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce (Finley has stepped away from the Chamber during the campaign for Nelson-Creston MLA in the October 24th provincial election), a director on the BC Chamber of Commerce and is a member of several non-profit boards and committees ranging from the Nelson Street Culture Collaborative, to the Nelson Police Foundation, the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership.

As well, she is a recipient of the THRIVE Award of Excellence for “creating an inclusive work environment and hiring individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment.”

In 2018 she was named a 40-under-40 “rising star” by Kootenay Business Magazine.

Tanya and Brent have been married for 17 years and have two active young sons at home in Nelson. 

Nelson Daily Q&A

1. What steps will you take to reach all of the voters in Nelson-Creston during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Calling an unnecessary election in the midst of a pandemic was an irresponsible move by John Horgan and the NDP.

We’re actively using social media like Facebook and Instagram to reach out to people. We’re also meeting people individually, wearing masks and staying physically distanced, and we’ve had a huge amount of support from people who have said “We’ll work on your behalf within our own social bubble to get you elected,” which has been amazing and humbling.

2. If elected, you will be a rookie MLA for Nelson-Creston. How will you make inroads in the BC Legislature to represent the wishes of constituents?

Between my job, my two terms as president of the Chamber of Commerce (and a director on the BC Chamber of Commerce) and even in my own family, I’ve developed great skills at negotiating and bringing people together.

I’m not hung up on what party a person is part of, or what their background is. I see a problem, I consult with people and put solutions into action. I move quickly and bring people along with me, and I think constituents in Nelson-Creston want someone with a track record of action, not just endless meetings and hollow talk.

I sit on the Economic Development Partnership advisory board and I am continually in meetings with all levels of government. I even have a letter from Michelle Mungall, thanking me for my help with business and that she looked forward to working with me.

3. If elected, what role do you see yourself playing in the BC Legislature?

The main role of an MLA is to be a representative voice of the riding to government.

But simply passing on those voices isn’t enough. My role is to understand the root cause of the concerns that people bring to me, and then to work with elected officials, government staff and others, to put a measurable plan of action in place to address the concerns raised in Nelson-Creston.

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

BC has actually done a good job of navigating through the initial emergency of COVID-19.

Tough decisions were made and supports were put in place to help people. The big issue now is to keep learning and to focus on the future of rebuilding our economy so that people have jobs and income.

In an emergency you do what you need to do in the moment, but that doesn’t mean we ignore the problems that might result in the long term. Creating a resilient economy is the best thing we can do to come through the longer-term impacts of COVID-19.

5. What do you bring to the table to make you the best choice in Nelson-Creston?

I’m tenacious, resilient and adaptable.

People know me and my track record. Don’t feel stuck voting for or against a party; vote for the person you know will be the best advocate for you.

BC Liberal Candidate Tanya Finley is joined on the Nelson-Creston ballot by Terry Tiessen of the BC Libertarian Party, Nicole Charlwood of the BC Green Party and Brittny Anderson of the BC NDP.

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