The last few weeks of Scott Anderson’s campaign as Green Party candidate in Cloverdale-Langley City have been a little rough.
Anderson, a homebuilder and developer, cracked a couple of ribs in a fall at work, then came down with a bad flu.
“But we’re plugging through,” Anderson said.
Anderson grew up in Surrey, lives in Cloverdale, and is building a new house in Langley City.
For years he worked for Bosa Construction, getting into the industry at a young age as a labourer and working his way up to construction manager.
He started his own company a year ago and builds sustainable housing, putting solar panels and extra insulation in homes.
His interest in politics goes back about 10 years, he said.
“I was actually a staunch Conservative for many years,” Anderson said.
But he gradually became disillusioned with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. He liked Green leader Elizabeth May and her party’s platform, Anderson said.
“We need political change, people are dying for it,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he particularly likes May’s pledge to allow any Green MPs to vote the way their constituents want rather than toeing the party line.
Campaigning for a smaller party means accepting a host of challenges right off the bat, Anderson said.
“We don’t have a Cadillac campaign, with $150,000 to spend on advertising, to hire staff,” he said.
All their local funding is from donations.
Everyone on the local Green campaign is a volunteer. Anderson has been working since last April, and has gathered about 60 volunteers, he said.
Raw numbers can’t always help, he said. The local campaign has had to turn down quite a few requests for lawn signs because they just don’t have the money to print more.
Doorknocking has been a big part of the campaign, as it has been for his rivals in the new riding.
If he is elected and sent to Ottawa, Anderson said his top priorities will be dictated by the locals.
“It’s what the people here need and are requiring,” he said.
So far, he’s heard three issues over and over again: crime, transportation, and health care.
Petty theft is a big issue in Langley City, violence and gangs in Surrey.
“They all want to see some kind of light rail or SkyTrain system come through the area,” Anderson said.
On health care, creating a national pharmacare program and lowering drug costs is a party priority, Anderson said.
With advance voting already over, the main voting day is Oct. 19.