Running for Mayor: Bill McQuarrie

By Vanessa Ybarra
September 14, 2017 - 5:31pm Updated: September 14, 2017 - 6:13pm

KAMLOOPS — Bill McQuarrie ran for city council in 2008.

The entrepreneur and long-time Kamloops resident is looking at re-entering the political ring once again.

McQuarrie says the divide amongst residents over the proposed Ajax mine proves the city is at a cross roads.

He says it's crucial we expand the job sector but in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way.

It's one of many promises he's making.

Bill McQuarrie is the proud owner of Image Masters in downtown Kamloops.

"We're a digital fine-art printing company that I started five years ago," said McQuarrie.

McQuarrie is now looking to add mayor to his list of job titles, running in this fall's by-election.

He says doing all he can to stop the proposed Ajax mine would be a top priority if elected.

"We're looking at 200 to 250 mining jobs once construction is over and most of those jobs are now being automated," said McQuarrie. "Why are we investing such energy in an industry that at best won't be here 20 years later?"

McQuarrie says he'd like to see more than one-hundred new businesses start-up in Kamloops in the next decade ranging from tech manufacturing to expanding the micro-brewery industry.

"Out in Valleyview we used to grow hops out there," said McQuarrie. "What about taking the concept of Napa or Sonoma which is wine based but instead did hop based and have microbreweries at the farm gate, a ten-acre farm growing hops, brewing their own beer, offering tasting room and restauraunt tours. Each of them would employ about 30 people."

The mayoral candidate's idea to freeze property taxes the first year in office has garnered the father of two the most attention so far throughout the campaign.

"When I first mentioned it I was called 'simplistic', that it was too complex an issue to deal with it. What what the city was saying to the voter was 'you can't understand this either so let us take care of it' and that was wrong.

He says the extra $1.1 million the city saves every year as part of its change in recycling services could help offset the property tax freeze.

"The funds are as far as I know unaccounted for," said McQuarrie. "Let's find out if anybody spent it, and if its still available then we're already ahead for 2018."

McQuarrie will know soon enough is elected on September 30.

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