Cochin-area resident Ken Finlayson announced he is running in the Battlefords-Lloydminster federal byelection as an independent candidate.
Finlayson previously wanted his name on the ballot for the local Conservative party nomination process. However, he said his application was rejected by the nomination committee.
While he was disappointed not to be running under the Conservative banner he said he believes running as an independent is the next best option.
"I had a lot of people enthusiastically supporting me, and when they encouraged me to run as an independent I felt obliged to do so," he said.
Finlayson added his support "reaches across party lines."
“I don’t toe the party line,” he said. “I will be free to vote as I wish and address any issue that affects my constituents.”
He said he shares many of the Conservatives beliefs, such as helping strengthen Canada's economy. He highlighted the resource sector is the area in need of most improvement.
Finlayson said he knows how important the energy sector is, and appreciates the need for pipeline and transportation infrastructure “to get our agricultural and mineral resources to world markets.”
He is strongly opposed to the carbon tax.
"So far I haven't seen anybody on the face of the Earth prove to me, or anyone else how paying five cents a litre more for fuel in North Battleford is going to reduce the temperature anywhere on the face of the Earth. It's simply a tax grab," he said. "The whole global warming thing is still a theory. That's a key word people forget, it's a theory."
Finlayson said he is also opposed to the federal government's proposed tax changes that would impact small businesses and farmers.
He added he strongly supports the farming community, and has ranched and farmed himself all his life.
Looking at social issues, he said he believes there needs to be more support for the Indigenous community.
Finlayson is concerned a high percentage of the prison population comes from Indigenous communities, and said that’s more than "a red flag" that there needs to be more work done to help Indigenous people.
"We can't ignore that, and we shouldn't," he said.
When looking at the issue of crime, Finlayson said building more jails is not the answer.
"Until we address the root cause of poverty, we will never get rid of crime; they come together," he said.
The byelection takes place Dec. 11.
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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