Friday, September 25, 2020

Roy Jones Junior named as BC Liberal Candidate for North Coast

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has tapped a Haida Gwaii resident to take up the Liberal nomination in the 2020 provincial election, with the Liberal leader announcing Roy Jones Junior as the party candidate in a press release earlier today.

Mr. Jones is a Haida Hereditary Chief  from Skidegate, who courted some significant controversy over his past involvement with Enbridge's proposed pipeline plans.

Such was the fall out from the Enbridge days, Chief Jones had his hereditary status revoked by Haida matriarchs in 2016 following his support for the pipeline project.

He is also an executive member of the National Coalition of Chiefs, a pro development coalition of First Nations leaders who have adopted the call to 'Defeat on Reserve poverty' as one of their mission statements.

Haida hereditary Chief Roy Jones Jr. has been announced as the
BC Liberal candidate for the North Coast 

(photo from Resource Works)

His selection will bring another First Nations leader with strong support for resource development into the Liberal tent, joining Skeena MLA Ellis Ross as a proponent of the opportunities that could come from the resource sector.

The move into the political arena for Chief Jones should make for an interesting opponent for incumbent Jennifer Rice, who has been at times quite outspoken against LNG development and other environmental issues, most notably during the Pacific Northwest LNG planning of half a decade ago.

The newest Liberal candidate has also been an advocate for Marine response on Haida Gwaii, speaking to the theme with Resource Works earlier this year on the planning required ahead.

He has also been somewhat outspoken on fishery related issues, calling for an Indigenous commercial fishery for seals and sea lions, though his endeavours to create such an industry have not found much traction to date. 

All in all, considering the very different political themes of both the Liberal and NDP candidates, it should make for a fascinating race, though the political rhetoric could get a little bit thick and perhaps even a bit heated over the course of the next month.

The announcement of Chief Jones Jr. for the North Coast Liberals appears to have come as a bit of a surprise for the local organization, which has yet to make note of the announcement on their own social media page in the community.

For more notes on the 2020 provincial election see our election tracker page here.

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