By Mark Dreger
Kelowna-West Libertarian candidate Kyle Geronazzo began his campaign kick-off event Saturday where the public came out to hear him speak and ask questions.
“Things are really on the upswing,” said BC Libertarian Party Leader Clayton Welwood, “and it’s really great to see that there’s people like Kyle who are interested in bringing choice to British Columbians.
After the BC election in 2017, Geronazzo decided that he wanted to get involved in politics for the first time.
“The [election] last year was really what prompted me to run this year,” Geronazzo said. “I was upset with the results of the last election, so I decided to finally take the initiative and put myself out there. I ended up joining the Libertarian Party and pretty well right away Clayton asked, ‘hey, do you want to run for the by-election?’ and I gave it a good thinking over for about a day and I said, ‘yeah, yes I would.’”
The Libertarian Party’s current goal is to run as many candidates as possible. Of the 87 ridings in BC, the party managed to run 30 candidates across the province in 2017 to earn the fifth largest vote share for a party.
“I think that the demographic that we’re trying to appeal to is people who believe in limited government,” Welwood said, “they believe in lower taxes, they believe in personal freedom, they believe in civil liberties. There’s a large number of people who think that way who are maybe undecided and we’re running somebody in this by-election because we want to provide a choice for those people.”
While Geronazzo and the public discussed the war on drugs, free speech, and the free market, the recurring topic and leading campaign promise is the abolition of ICBC’s insurance monopoly.
“I would first start by introducing a private member’s bill which would revoke ICBC’s monopoly status, allow any insurer within BC the right to be able to cover basic insurance, and within that same bill I would also seek to cut off ICBC from the tax revenue collected by BC, of which they cost us over $900 million last year in addition to costing us the highest rates across Canada,” Geronazzo said.
According to Geronazzo, 80 per cent of BC residents dislike ICBC, but 28 per cent of BC residents “vehemently despise ICBC.”
“If it was such a good service that they’re providing us, why do they have to force it on us by law?” Geronazzo said.
With Liberal, NDP, and Green Party candidates all running in the by-election with party leaders visiting to support them, Geronazzo is committed to the uphill battle to give voters another option on the ballot.
“Libertarians are all about personal liberty and economic liberty,” he said. “A lot of people might call us conservative or liberal or this or that, we’re all about the individual, more choice for you and for your family, and allowing you to choose the best future for yourselves as opposed to someone trying to dictate that for you.”
The byelection will take place Wednesday, Feb.14.
To report a typo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.