The Communist Party of B.C. is running candidates in both Kamloops ridings in next spring’s provincial election.
Beat Klossner is running in Kamloops South and Peter Kerek, a former labour council president and stay-at-home dad, is running in Kamloops North. Klossner, a 55-year-old husband and father of one who moved to Kamloops in 2002, works as a baker downtown.
They acknowledge that their party will not be running enough candidates to form government, yet they hope their message will help build momentum for future elections and promote progressive values.
They make their first official campaign appearance at Kamloops and District Labour Council’s annual Labour Day Picnic at McDonald Park on Monday, September 5, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
“We’re really looking forward to broadening the narrow political landscape that has existed in Kamloops for decades now,” Kerek said in a news release. “Trickle-down economics has run its ugly course – it didn’t work on paper, and it doesn’t work in the real world. People are tired of the hoarding, greed and poverty incessant within capitalism, and our party’s the only one running in Kamloops that proposes systematic changes to a bankrupt system.”
Kerek said the “now-centrist” NDP has become preoccupied with holding onto its second-place status and has abandoned its traditional advocacy against poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment.
“It’s a shame that the major parties in B.C. accept so much poverty and income disparity in a province that has enough wealth to take care of everyone,” he said.
“The other parties just offer different shades of the same capitalist system,” Klossner said. “Capitalism does not work for the vast majority of us and a system that is fundamentally opposed to basic human needs and instincts can not be reformed - it needs to be replaced.”
They advocate for affordable housing, major improvements in public transit, electoral reform and a reversal of the tax breaks given to the wealthiest British Columbians 15 years ago, he added.
Both candidates have been public about their opposition to the Ajax Mine project, which they see as the hot-button issue in the city. They say they are the only provincial candidates opposed to the controversial project.