Submitted by Jamie Elmhirst
North Shore Business Association executive director Steven Puhallo has thrown his hat in the ring for the BC Liberal nomination in the Kamloops North Thompson provincial riding.
Flanked by former MLAs Kevin Krueger and Claude Richmond, Puhallo made his announcement on Friday, Sept. 2 at Wilson Heritage House to a standing room only crowd of supporters. In his announcement Puhallo touched on he and his family’s long history in the riding and his belief in free enterprise.
“We believe you can build partnerships, support communities and grow the economy and take care of those less fortunate without pushing debt onto future generations,” Puhallo explained in his announcement speech.
When asked why he was running Puhallo talked about his love of the people of the North Thompson Valley and his personal dedication to serving them as their next MLA, “I grew up on the banks of the North Thompson River. I come from a family of cattle ranchers and farmers.” Puhallo stated, “I’m uniquely qualified to understand the folks in the North Thompson valley region. Because I am one of them.”
Puhallo is running to replace MLA and Health Minister Terry Lake who recently announced he will not seek a third term.
Known for his community involvement, Puhallo has helped rodeo, 4-H and horse clubs behind the scenes for years. His biggest local project was bringing professional bullriding to Barriere for a New Year’s Eve show at the North Thompson Agriplex. “That was a lot of fun. We were able to use our first event in 2012 to push for a grant that resulted in the Agriplex to get its full indoor arena.” He noted, “That was a great team effort and now the event brings in over 1,000 people to Barriere for a good economic boost in the middle of winter!” The bullarama was a fund raiser for the Farm Kids Fund bursary which gets awarded to two Barriere Secondary students each year.
Puhallo also confided a personal reason for why Barriere has always been so important to him. “When I was ten years old I got into a bad wreck at the rodeo one year. I got stepped on pretty bad and it was touch and go for a while. This great little town rallied around me and my family. This man will never forget the love and generosity they showed that very scared little boy. It’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay.”
You can meet Steven and his campaign team on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Station House Restaurant located on the Yellowhead Hwy. in Barriere and you can ‘like’ his campaign page at www.facebook.com/stevenpuhallo