Scott McEachern is tired of just talking about politics — so he has decided to run as an independent candidate in the May 14 provincial election.
McEachern, 50, is a furniture manufacturer sales representative who travels extensively across B.C. He moved to the Island in 1990. His wife owns the One Stop Furniture Shop in Sidney. He said he’s running for MLA in Saanich North and the Islands because he wants to see real change in government, especially when it comes to handling people’s tax dollars.
“I wonder where our tax breaking point is,” he said. “What really triggered my interest in running in this election is that I didn’t want to keep complaining and not doing anything about (government). I certainly can’t make any worse decisions than those already in office.”
McEachern said he doesn’t think people can pay any more taxes and fees in this province and the government needs to be run more like a business — one that looks to make money and over the long term, pay down the debit and balance the budget each year.
McEachern said he favours balanced budget legislation for B.C. and goes a little further, saying those budgets should also look to create surpluses to pay off the province’s debt.
“I know that long-term debt can’t just disappear,” he explained, “and it will take years to pay it off. But we cold be putting more money into paying it down over time.”
He did add he realizes there are significant costs associated with provincial services such as health care and education. That’s where he said the various school boards and health authorities need to become more efficient and even make profits — which includes using provincial assets such as land to help generate more wealth.
Those profits would be turned back over to those boards and back to their employees, because they are the ones doing all of the hard work,” he said.
In this way, McEachern continued, rewards would come in the form of innovation and drive to do better — and therefore improve the B.C. economy.
He applies his thinking to B.C. Ferries as well, noting they could be making more money by leasing out more space to businesses and creating more value-added services for passengers.
McEachern said running for office is new to him and did not choose a party because he didn’t want to be beholden to the party line, or be told how to vote.
“The government has to start looking within itself to serve the public better, to be a better voice of the people it serves.”
Without a large party campaign war chest, however, McEachern said he realizes it’s going to be a hard road. He said he will use social media to get his message to the people, and will attend as many local election forums as possible.
“Some people have told me they are happy an independent is running so, hopefully, this will spark more votes on election day.”