John Slater, the former MLA for the Boundary Similkameen riding, is thinking of re-entering politics, going back to his roots as a municipal politician.
Slater said he has been “playing” on his farm since he resigned as MLA under a cloud with the May 2013 provincial election. Now he is considering running in Osoyoos as a candidate for either mayor or council.
“A lot of people in town have said John, now that you are not in provincial politics, you should come back to the town,” said Slater, who was a councillor in Osoyoos for 12 years and mayor for six.
Slater hasn’t decided whether he should run for councillor or mayor in the next municipal elections in fall 2014.
“I have a few months to figure it out and its all about team. That’s why I want to have a look and figure out the team,” said Slater.
The last five months of his provincial political career were a rough ride for Slater, starting in January 2013, when he resigned from the B.C. Liberals after the refused to endorse his nomination to run in the next provincial election.
A Liberal party press release gave no reason for their not endorsing Slater, stating only that his “candidacy is not being approved due to personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the party.”
Speculation began to swirl that the “personal issue” was Slater having a problem with alcohol, including a rumour that he had attended a caucus meeting while inebriated.
Slater said he planned to run as independent, a decision that lasted about a week. Slater resigned after a political blogger announced he had “exceedingly disturbing information” about Slater and Marji Basso, the NDP candidate for Boundary Similkameen. Basso also resigned her candidacy.
At the time, Slater said it had been a “brutal week,” that he was disillusioned and didn’t want to go through “four months of garbage and rhetoric.”
But since being out of politics, Slater said people in the Osoyoos community have told him they want him back to help the community.
His decision to run, he continued, is not based on wanting to get back in the public spotlight.
“Before I was on council, I was working with the community,” said Slater. “I was on the recreation commission, I coached for years and years.
“The business community is probably the biggest reason I am doing this.
“There are a lot of stores in Osoyoos that are suffering right now and I think I can bring some of that back.”