Douglas Gook is running for the B.C. Green Party in Cariboo North. (Photo Submitted)

Douglas Gook is running for the B.C. Green Party in Cariboo North. (Photo Submitted)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Cariboo North candidate questionnaire – Douglas Gook, Green Party

Cariboo North election candidates answer a series of questions leading up to the election

We asked Cariboo North election candidates the same five questions — plus one bonus question — leading up to the Oct. 24 election and gave them all the same word limit.

1. How would your provincial government approach a COVID-19 recovery moving forward?

Achieving the best health outcomes for all British Columbians starts with universal availability of no-cost, safe vaccines. The B.C. Green Party has also committed to major improvements to long-term seniors care and enhanced mental health services.

With this opportunity for an economy reset, I’m encouraged to see the other parties finally talking about the Green Party’s longtime call for Universal Basic Income (UBI).

2. What will you do to improve road quality in Cariboo North?

It’s important to deal with both the symptoms and root causes of the poor road quality in Cariboo North.

As your MLA, I would be your advocate for getting issues dealt with by the ministry responsible and maintenance contractors. New road construction should only proceed after proper levels of maintenance to existing infrastructure.

Independent hydrologists and ecoforesters have warned us for decades that the non-sustainable clearcut short-rotation exploitation of our forests would contribute to the flooding and washout problems that we now see plaguing Cariboo roads. There are climate crisis impacts too. I’ve worked my entire adult life to implement ecoforestry and climate solutions.

3. How should we tackle the overdose crisis?

The deplorable track record of the B.C. Lib/NDP governments’ failure to implement the known solutions to end the toxic drug crisis impacts us all with the tragic deaths of our relatives, friends and neighbours. I shed many tears and offer my heart to all of us who have been impacted by the unnecessary deaths of our loved ones.

As your B.C. Green Party MLA, I will prioritize my actions for ending drug prohibition (which undermines the criminal toxic drug market) and strengthen the health system-delivered harm reduction, clean drug supply and comprehensive addiction treatment services.

4. What will resource extraction look like in Cariboo North over the next 10 years?

With a B.C. Green Party government, sustainability and the science for protecting all values will be the foundation for resource use. Ending monopolistic corporate industrial fibre mining by transitioning to value-added Natural Selection Forestry is the best way of highlighting quality tree growth that is prerequisite for supplying a vibrant employment intensive value-added wood manufacturing sector. In addition, protecting science-based levels of Old Growth Forests, ending raw log exports and herbicide spraying are all no brainers.

Protecting mine workers, our watersheds and communities needs mining law reform in B.C. Since the Imperial Metals toxic mine tailings disaster (2014), I’ve worked with 70 groups and First Nations to implement safe practices for the industry. B.C. Liberals/NDP governments have ignored these reforms. They choose not to uphold our existing mining laws regarding the Mt. Polley disaster, the largest toxic mine tailings spill in Canadian history and even rewarded Imperial Metals permits to 24/7 pipe tailings effluent into Quesnel Lake. This business-as-usual disgrace must change so mining can be a safe and responsible part of our economy.

5. Why are you running for MLA of Cariboo North?

As a third-generation settler who has lived my whole life on the unceded traditional territories of the Dalkelh, Northern Sewepnec and Tsilhqot’in Nations, I LOVE this home we call the Cariboo. I want to make sure that we will always have healthy caribou in the Cariboo.

All of us have part of the solutions needed for future generations to be able to thrive. I hear the voices of our children, and I want to help get us there.

Bonus: What question should we have asked you?

What must we do to pass on a healthy planet to our children?

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES: Advance polling in Quesnel to begin on Oct. 15

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