Feature Story Friday, April 26, 2013
Good to be Green
Reimer builds support for election run
Kim Reimer (centre) was joined by Eddie Gardner (2nd from left) and wild salmon activists at her office opening last Friday.
reen Party of BC Chilliwack candidate Kim Reimer stood on the street in front of her new campaign office last week chatting with passersby who ventured out during the inclement weather.
Since former candidate Jamie Hoskins left to pursue studies at SFU, there's been a flat spot for Green Party representation in the Chilliwack riding
Last Friday, people finally had a chance to meet Green candidate Kim Reimer at her new Five Corners campaign office, now next to Bravo Restaurant in the 46200 block of Yale Rd.
Reimer took part in her first all-candidates meeting last week and said there were about 65 people there, but it wasn’t a very tough crowd.
Although there was some party-bashing, Reimer says she abstained.
“I don't want to get into that kind of politics. I don't think it’s necessary, personally, so I'm just going to stay right out of that.”
The candidates were each given five questions and Reimer said the response to her was positive.
“I got claps and nodding heads. It was my very first debate ever in my life, so, it was a little bit of a blur, but in general it was really good,” she said.
Reimer says she never considered getting into politics until Fraser Health’s chlorination mandate issue surfaced, which is something she’s very passionate about.
“My husband and I spearheaded the anti-chlorination petition. Just so many people were so unhappy and disillusioned with the government,” she said.
According to Reimer, the Green Party approached her to run because of her experience working on the Jamie Hoskins campaign.
Reimer’s family is supportive of her running for MLA. Her aunt, Rosanne Day, came in from Victoria to help launch the campaign.
“We just came to support Kimberly a little bit, and she's headed to Victoria to support Chilliwack, so it equals what we do in this family,” said Day adding that she wasn’t surprised at all to see her niece jump into politics.
“She’s new into politics right now, but she's been training her whole life and she's really just been brilliant and involved in her community. We always knew that she was going to do something good," explains Day. "She's had her struggles and she's overcome things. She's just special and she's always been special. I don't think Chilliwack's going to go wrong. She's not a shrinking violet, she'll stand up.”
A local postie chats with Reimer outside her office last Friday.
Accessibility is the crux of her campaign, and Reimer says that she plans on being available to constituents.
“Chilliwack needs to be put first. Our past MLA's really haven't done a great job of making sure that Chilliwack is represented, rather than their party represented,” she says. “So I'm pledging to the community that I am going to be accessible and I'm going to value people's input.”
According to some of Reimer's supporters, the NDP have been waffling on the feedlot salmon issue in contrast to the Green Party of BC who have come out strongly against farmed Atlantic salmon on the BC Coast.
This indecision had led to groups of defectors jumping the NDP ship for the Green Party.
In a surprising announcement, Stó:lō elder and wild salmon activist Eddie Gardner declared he was throwing his support behind Reimer in her run for the Chilliwack riding.
Gardner, who has enjoyed strong ties with the NDP over the last several years, became frustrated with the foot-dragging on the issue.
“I know that there are some NDP candidates that do not want to see the feedlots in the ocean, they want them removed as well. But the NDP party have not really taken any stand on this,” he said.
“I think the Green Party of BC together with all of the candidates that are running for office, will make a positive difference and I think its incumbent upon all of us to support the Green Party as our real option.”
He said it was an honour to support Reimer as the Green candidate.
“I will use the influence I have to rally support for her, the Green Party which is the only party taking a strong stance regarding the open net feedlots. The candidate and the party are in harmony.”
Gardner said Reimer has taken part in ambitious community events like the Cash Mobs in support of the East Indian Restaurants that were subject to racism. She's also been very active on the chlorination issue.
“I have come to know Kim an activist who cares deeply about the wild salmon. She's joined the boycott of Atlantic salmon, and she did it because she wants to give a voice to all those that don't have a voice — that's our wild salmon, that's eco tourism, that's sports fishery, that's the food industry in our area. They would all suffer dearly if wild salmon disappeared,” he said.
“The old party has given in to the power elite and it is not time to give voice to the people and the Green Party can do this. The Green Party is doing this and is emerging now as a force, as a powerful force now to address those big and huge issues that are facing us today,” added Gardner.
Reimer's political career seems to be just starting to bud. She thinks that if she's unsuccessful in her provincial bid, that she may run federally, or perhaps even dive into municipal politics at some point in the future.
Gardner summed up the candidate during his speech..
“Kim, she has a strong heart and a good heart... a green heart that matches the green heart of Chilliwack.”
© Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice
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