CANDIDATE PROFILE: Stahl running for BC Cons
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A lifelong outdoors enthusiast is hoping to trade his full-time employment in the bush for the halls of the B.C. Legislature building.
Abbotsford’s Don Stahl is running for the BC Conservative Party in the Abbotsford-Mission riding, but his current day job is that of a B.C. Conservation Officer, patrolling an area from Coquitlam to Boston Bar. He has been doing that work for 15 years after graduating from then-called Malaspina College in Nanaimo with a diploma in environmental law enforcement.
Stahl has been involved in provincial and federal politics for the better part of a decade. He was first introduced to that world 10 years ago when former MP Randy White asked him to help. Stahl joined the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon Electoral District Association for the Conservative Party of Canada, and sat three times as the group’s vice-president.
He has been serving as the president of the BC Conservatives’ Abbotsford-Mission riding association for the past two years.
“I decided I wanted to get more involved,” he said.
Top of mind for Stahl are crime and the threat of a garbage incinerator being built somewhere in the region, which he says would lead to increased pollution in the fragile Fraser Valley airshed.
Stahl is critical of the BC Liberals for allowing Metro Vancouver to go ahead with the planning process.
“With our children’s health at stake, I don’t think it should even be considered,” he said.
The BC Conservatives are pledging $700 million over three years to hire more sheriffs and to re-open some of the previously shuttered B.C. courthouses.
Included in that figure, said Stahl, is $4 million to hire 10 special prosecutors in Kelowna to combat gang crime and violence.
The former MEI graduate also wants to make MLAs more accountable to the public, and to ban corporate and union political donations.
“[BC Conservative leader John] Cummins wants his MLAs to put the constituents’ interests over the party’s,” Stahl added. “This would mean far more free votes.”
Stahl can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.