The newly formed People's Party of Canada has organized their own local Kootenay-Columbia Riding Association, which is now working to be formally recognized by Elections Canada.
President of the People's Party of Canada (PPC) Kootenay-Columbia Electoral District Association, James Jost said they officially formed in Nelson late last month following interest from local party members.
"We have different members who have registered online with the party who showed an interest early on and we were able to contact everyone who showed that interest, which was surprisingly a large number of people," Jost told Summit 107. "We held a meeting on November 25th at the Hume Hotel in Nelson and we elected our board of directors."
The PPC was recently formed by Maxime Bernier, an ex-Conservative MP that left the party after a falling out and following his loss to Andrew Scheer in the Conservative leadership race. Since that party was formed, the PPC has had over $435,000 in donations and have more than 33,000 members in Canada.
Jost said he's thrilled that Kootenay-Columbia now has a local contingent of PPC supporters.
"I am extremely excited, we have a lot of wonderful members on our board, people who are going to work really hard, and we're going to ensure that we build the People's Party of Canada into an electable and principled alternative for Canadian voters."
Including a Treasurer and Secretary, the PPC Kootenay-Columbia Electoral District Association has four board members including Jost and Cranbrook's Josh Peterson, who was elected at Vice President.
With the federal election less than a year away on October 21, 2019, Jost told Summit 107 that they have a lot of work ahead of them in the coming months including having to register their Electoral District Association with Elections Canada.
"We have a short amount of time and a lot of work to do," said Jost. "One of our top priorities right now is candidate selection, which is going through our board of directors and our other top priorities are fundraising and membership plans. We need to get more people involved who are interested and it's important that we raise funds to help get this party started on the right foot."
Jost said the deadline for candidate nominations for the PPC is May 2019.
More on the PPC can be found here.
Audio: James Jost, President of the PPC Kootenay-Columbia Riding Association (on the PPC's local priorities)
Audio: James Jost, President of the PPC Kootenay-Columbia Riding Association (on the PPC's party platform)