Tourism business operator Darren DeLuca will be the BC Liberal candidate in Alberni-Pacific Rim in the May 14 B.C. election.
“Our community is ready for change, for a vision of prosperity and jobs, and that’s what I will commit to do,” said DeLuca. “NDP candidate Scott Fraser has not done the job, and it’s time for him to go.”
DeLuca owns a big-game guiding company (Vancouver Island Guide Outfitters Inc.) that has worldwide clients.
He is a director of the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society (owners of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs) and helped spearhead the drive to make the team community owned. DeLuca is also a director of the Port Alberni Port Authority and co-chair of the Alberni Clayoquot Transportation Committee.
“At this crucial moment, when the forest industry is finally ready to invest in jobs and infrastructure, it is the height of irresponsibility for Scott Fraser to call for the banning of old-growth logging,” said DeLuca. “Our union millworkers and loggers would be laid off instantly.’
“What we should be doing now is encouraging those companies to invest, not driving them away.”
Another priority, he said, is improved highways and road infrastructure. “For too long the local economy has been constrained by lack of access, and should any of these projects proceed to approval, a new highway will be essential.
“Better roads and infrastructure in any area of Alberni-Pacific Rim would be good news for the tourist industry as well as for economic development. A lot of constituents depend on tourism, and it needs all the help it can get.”
Mining is another bright light on the horizon, he said: “With two major mine projects on the books, Eagle Rock and Raven Coal, and more exploration happening in the region, there is new opportunity to create many high-paying, skilled, union jobs.”
“B.C.’s environmental approval process is one of the most rigorous and transparent processes in the world, it includes public consultation, and major projects must pass this demanding process before being approved. We need to let the process continue and be completed.”
DeLuca, also a realtor, says he supports the efforts of the PAPA to develop a transshipping centre near Coleman Creek in the Alberni Inlet. “The transshipping centre would create hundreds of union jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity.”
DeLuca will be officially nominated on April 12 at Hollies Executive Golf Course.