In BC Liberal leadership bid, Skeena MLA calls for private sector growth

ellis ross pic

When Ellis Ross revealed that he was running for the BC Liberal leadership yesterday, he kept it a quiet affair.

There were no grand announcements or long social media posts about it. Just a few interviews with the media.

In an interview with CFTK today, Ross admitted he didn't put much planning into the announcement. But, the Skeena MLA and former Haisla Nation Chief Councillor said that it's an example of how he doesn't care for political theatrics – and that he's more focused on proper governance.

"I'm fully experienced in terms of how to build an economy. I'm fully experienced in looking at environmental terms and conditions in terms of projects. I'm fully experienced in aboriginal issues in terms of rights and title and case law.

"But in terms in terms of politics and leadership races? No, I'm not experienced.

Ross said that when he was first elected in in 2017, a fellow Liberal MLA suggested he run for party leadership. Ross shooed the idea away, figuring he needed to learn more about provincial politics.

Now that he's into his second term in office, Ross says he's ready to take the party's helm.

"Watching what's been happening in BC for the past three years has got me terribly concerned about where BC's going. We've got deficits happening at the government level, and I don't think people understand what that means.

At the front of Ross's goals for the province is attracting economic investment and stimulating industry growth. In particular, he wants to see more regional industrial projects throughout BC. 

He gave the proposed West Coast Olefins plastic plant near Prince George as an example.

"I'm happy for Prince George, and I'd like to see something similar for Terrace and Kitimat and maybe some other parts of BC."

He argued that a failure to keep the private sector afloat through investment could lead to a growth in the deficit, which has ballooned significantly since the start of the pandemic.

"That's not sustainable. So you either cut services or you raise taxes or you raise rates. The younger generation, you're going to have to deal with that."

Although Ross's campaign is still in its infancy, he said that he's gotten requests from people asking how they can be involved, and that he was surprised by how much attention his announcement has gotten.