The deadline for candidate nominations in the upcoming provincial election has passed and the Kootenay West riding will have six names on the ballot.
Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green) Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent) and Ed Varney (Independent) will all be vying for the one Kootenay West seat on Oct. 24.
Each of the candidates has submitted a brief introduction, included below.
Glen Byle — Conservative
Fourteen years ago I graduated from BCIT and was hired full time at the hospital in Trail repairing medical equipment. I immediately fell in love with life in the Kootenays. I met my wife here and we have 3 young kids ages 4, 6, and 8.
I enjoy biking, weight lifting, and spending time with my family. Four years ago we made the decision to sell my truck and buy an e-bike, making us a one car family. Now I do most of my trips around town by bike, I am a member of the West Kootenay Cycling Coalition, and I just ran the GoByBike week event (formerly known as bike to work week) for the Trail area.
I am passionate about improving active transportation infrastructure in our cities so that more people can feel comfortable leaving the car at home and taking trips with greener forms of transportation.
Katrine Conroy — BC NDP
Katrine Conroy has represented the West Kootenays as MLA since 2005. Since 2017 she has been British Columbia’s Minister of Children and Family Development, as well as Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and the Columbia River Treaty.
While in opposition Katrine was the caucus whip in addition to being spokesperson for Seniors, Interior Economic Development, Labour, Columbia Power Corporation, Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia River Treaty.
Katrine had a varied career before becoming an MLA. She was one of B.C.’s first female power engineers, and has worked as an early childhood educator, executive director of a multi-service non-profit agency, a college instructor, and a small business person.
Together with her husband Ed, Katrine raised 4 children and has 9 grandchildren and for 42 years has lived on their ranch in Pass Creek.
Andrew Duncan — BC Green
In a world where you can be anything, be kind. It may sound cliché and naive, however, to a dyslexic boy who was told he would not finish high school, it seems like a great place to start.
I read Rupi Kaur and Lenard Cohen poetry in the mountains; I am as comfortable behind a chainsaw and throwing avalanche explosives as I am reading academic papers. I have a passion to learn and to strive to do better for myself, for my children, and my community.
Ten years ago I joined search and rescue (SAR) to help others, I am currently Rossland SAR manager and spent several years as president of Rossland SAR. I want to lead by example for my children, so that they know we can always try to do better, try to help others and try to improve our communities.
My education is a BSc in Environmental Science and Physical Geography. However, science does not hold all the answers and so my MA is in Environmental Education and Communication, where I focused on my community — North Rockies snowmobilers and avalanche literacy.
Corbin Kelley — BC Liberal
While I may only be 19 years old, I am still passionate about politics and especially the future of our beautiful province.
Born in Kamloops and growing up in Vernon I have deep roots in the interior, and I fondly remember coming to the Kootenays for summer holidays. I am now studying political science and economics at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. One thing politics has taught me is you should always be open to learning and understand that no one is right 100 per cent of the time.
Though I wish I lived in one of the many beautiful communities in our riding, I do not. However, I believe that makes me an even better listener as I do not come here with my own biases. I am excited to meet the people of Kootenay West.
Fletcher Quince — Independent
In 2009 I moved to Rossland to reintegrate Francis Rattenbury’s historic Bank of Montreal Building into the community’s cultural and economic landscape. In addition to rejuvenating the building, which now houses 15 local businesses, I curate a marketplace for Kootenay Creative Products, known as the Quoynary Canada.
Throughout my decade living in the region I have served Kootenay West residents in a variety of roles, including as the Vice President of the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre, as a member of the Columbia Basin Trust’s Our Trust, Our Future Residents Working Group in 2015, as Chair of the City of Rossland’s Fire and Emergency Services Review Task Force in 2016, and as an executive member of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society until 2017.
Prior to moving to the West Kootenay’s I worked as a wildland firefighter, research scientist and incident commander with Alberta’s Sustainable Resource Development Branch. During which time I completed an undergraduate in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Alberta in 2005, and a masters degree in Forest Fire Management Systems from the University of Toronto in 2009.
The opportunity to provide conscious, and available, representation for Kootenay West residents is at the core of my interest in pursuing election at this time.
Ed Varney — Independent
I was born in Nelson. I spent the first two years of my life in the Valley at my family’s farm at the south end of the Little Slocan Lakes, then we moved to Vallican, also in the Little Slocan.
I have completed five years of post-secondary education finishing at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto in 1976 with the gold medal for technology in mechanical engineering. I followed up by obtaining certification as millwright, heavy duty mechanic and welding.
I have worked in B.C. from the west coast of Vancouver Island, east and south to Sparwood and Elkford, and north to Fort Nelson and Smithers. I worked for a short time in Alberta’s forest and gas industry and very briefly in Montreal. I have had many jobs from teaching school (Mechanics 10) to falling timber. I’ve been back in the Slocan Valley since the summer of 1992. This broad spectrum of experience helps to better represent all citizens in Kootenay West.
I am a family man who, together with my wife, has raised four children and we now have nine grandchildren.