KAMLOOPS — The election campaign is now officially underway.
Even though candidates in both Kamloops ridings were campaigning long before the writ dropped, they're now in a 28-day dash to the May 9 election.
WATCH: Full report by Jill Sperling
Kamloops-South Thompson Liberal candidate Todd Stone is the only incumbent in either Kamloops riding.
"Everybody starts at zero," Stone said. "Everybody starts with no votes. We all have to go out there and work really, really hard. I think taking nothing for granted is wise advice for myself and the other candidates."
Stone has plenty of competition who believe it's time to shake the election up.
"It reminds me a bit of a carnival, and a bunch of used car salesmen trying to advertise their wares," said Kamloops-South Thompson Communist Party candidate Beat Klossner. "It looks like there's a race for everybody's wallet and that's a race to the bottom basically."
Klossner says his party takes a different approach.
"For us it's not so much middle class, our problem is food banks ... shouldn't have that, walk-in clinics and line-ups, we shouldn't have that. Housing is a really big issue."
Kamloops-South Thompson NDP candidate Nancy Bepple says the state of healthcare in the riding is a top concern.
"The number one issue that I'm hearing, again and again, is the doctor shortage here in Kamloops," Bepple said.
However, Kamloops-South Thompson Green Party candidate Donovan Cavers is hearing a different number one issue.
"People are extremely concerned about the Ajax mine, especially in neighbourhoods like Aberdeen, Upper Sahali, where people have invested their livelihoods and their homes," Cavers said.
In the Kamloops-North Thompson riding mayor turned provincial candidate Peter Milobar is ready for his next challenge.
"I think every campaign is out there trying to get their signs up today and trying to get mobilized with that, and certainly our campaign team will be out there," Milobar said. "I think everyone will really put that big push on for the next month, so it should be exciting and very different from what I'm used to at the same time."
Milobar hopes to continue the work that the BC Liberals have been doing over their 16 years in power, but Kamloops-North Thompson candidate Barb Nederpel says it's time for change.
"People have been responding very positively towards us, primarily because they're tired of 16 years of a BC Liberal government that has put their needs last and the big corporate donors first," Nederpel said.
Kamloops-North Thompson Green Party Candidate Dan Hines believes people are tired of the NDP and Liberals demonizing one another.
"People want someone to talk about 'what's the plan?'" Hines said. "'Where are we actually going? What are we going to do together? What's the creative new solution to things like the doctor shortage, or to environmental assessment process, or local economic development?'"
Those are the questions the local candidates now have four weeks to answer.
ELECTION FORUM - All Candidates
Join CFJC, KTW, and CBC on Tuesday, April 25th at 7pm in the TRU Grand Hall. All 8 provincial election candidates in the Kamloops ridings will be in attendance.
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