As part of our B.C. election coverage, Black Press asked candidates to submit a bio about themselves, why they are running and what is the most important issue in the Boundary-Similkameen riding.
My name is Darryl Seres and I’m proud to be your Conservative candidate this election in Boundary-Similkameen. Directly participating in democracy is one of the great privileges of living in our country. My professional background is in the non-profit sector, where I worked for twelve years in education, management, and overseas humanitarian development. Over time, I have come to believe that the non-profit sector provides an excellent model for government to follow—maximize the available resources, operate within the means, and provide the most amount of good for the benefit of the most possible people.
Working overseas in a number of different countries provided me a unique perspective which has helped me to better appreciate and understand the tremendous advantages and opportunities that we have here in British Columbia. We have great untapped potential that better government could unleash by putting local people, communities, and businesses first. When government puts their own interests, party interests, and lobby groups first, the people suffer for it. That’s why we need so much better representation in our democratic institutions. My grandparents and father risked their lives and left everything to flee communism in the fifties. They came to Canada for freedom, democracy, and real representation in government. I will always stand for these values.
I have also spent four years working in the Okanagan wine and tourism industry as I complete my Masters at UBC Okanagan in history, religion, and politics. Working in the Agro-tourism sector has given me tremendous insight into two of the major industries in our region and allowed me to meet many wonderful people here. My family and I made the move to Osoyoos in the beautiful south Okanagan 10 years ago and have since put down roots in the community. l also serve at the provincial level as the sitting vice-president of the Conservative Party of British Columbia. Through this role, I am working to build a strong, viable Conservative alternative for the people of BC and the constituents of Boundary, Similkameen, and the south Okanagan.
What are your reasons for running in this election?
I’m running in this election because I believe that our elected representatives at the provincial level are not representing our communities, our local needs, and especially the people in the Interior and rural parts of the province. The major parties are beholden to special interests, corporate and union lobbies, and left-wing activism—it’s time for our elected representatives to put the needs of the people above those of the interest groups and lobbies. I’m also running because the people of Boundary-Similkameen deserve a true conservative voice that shares their perspectives. They deserve to have the opportunity to vote Conservative if they so choose. It’s past time for true local representation and for listening to the people of our riding. That’s what I have been doing and commit to continue doing. I want to be your MLA because in addition to voting, a right that we all share, I also want you to have a greater say in our future.
What do you believe to be the three most important issues for the riding?
There are certainly a number of important issues for our riding. First, we need to expand access to essential health care services. It is very difficult to find a family doctor in many parts of this region and access to specialized mental health services, especially addictions services, is extremely lacking. Furthermore, we certainly need to provide extra support to our seniors in long-term living and palliative care. COVID-19 has shown us that the system as it stands is broken. The hard-working people providing long-term care support should be able to earn enough to work for a single facility in order to better protect and serve the residents they work with.
Second, we need to greatly expand inter-provincial trade to assist and grow our wine and other agricultural producers. It is unacceptable that our producers don’t have the unfettered ability to export to other provinces in Canada. A Western Canada-based, integrated economic platform would enable the western provinces to maximize our resources and lessen our dependence on Central Canada and foreign manufacturing. After COVID-19, we must ensure for the future that our essential supply chains and critical industries are secured and rebuilt here, in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Third, it is time for a YES/NO referendum on the South Okanagan National Park. It should be up to the people of this region to decide this long-standing and contentious issue. It is not the role of the federal or provincial governments to impose their will on our communities regarding this question.
What works have you done for the community prior to deciding to run for election?
With regard to community involvement, I have volunteered with a local church that runs a very popular, annual dinner service and community-building summer program for our agricultural workers. Supporting agricultural workers is crucial to the functioning and prosperity of our important wine, fruit, and agricultural producers. While I also remain involved in overseas humanitarian work, much of my recent activism is at the provincial level where I have served three terms on the board of directors of the Conservative Party of BC – currently as vice-president. I mention this, because it has become quite clear to many people that building a viable and strong Conservative alternative is to the benefit of both our province and our local communities. Thank you for taking the time to read and support your local news and for learning about your candidates. No matter who you vote for – please vote.
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