A 73-year-old Elkford man has recently announced his candidacy to represent citizens from the Kootenays during the Métis Nation of B.C. (MNBC) elections.

Terry Anonson, who currently serves as the vice-president of the Elk Valley Métis Association (EVMA), is finding creative ways to social distance while campaigning for the MNBC Region #4 director role to prepare for the Sept. 21 provincial election.

“It’s a big region,” he stated with a chuckle. “Our hunting regions actually align with our political regions, and I don’t know if that was on purpose or not, but it certainly would make sense considering our history is rooted in hunting and gathering.”

Anonson is competing against Columbia Valley Métis Association (CVMA) President Debra Fisher as well as Nelson and Area Métis Society (NAMS) President Don Courson to represent citizens from both the East and West Kootenay regions.

But he is no stranger to the campaign trail, after campaigning twice for the MNBC presidential role and once for a regional director’s role in previous elections.

This year, however; Anonson opted to campaign for Region #4 out of respect for MNBC’s current president Clara Morin Dal Col: crediting her with helping the provincial organization to become debt-free over her last term of service.

“I feel that she’s doing a good job, and four years is not enough time to do everything you need to do in that position,” he explained with the utmost respect for his peer.

As a result, Anonson believes that Region #4 could benefit from both his background in various leadership roles with the United Steelworkers Canada (USC), where he represented the union,and his experience with arbitration training.

In addition to his professional experience, Anonson has been serving for EVMA for at least a decade. He also has experience with the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) as a community vice-president, continually contributes at the MNBC budget committee, and previously served two years as a regional director when an interim election was held after the resignation of a prior representative.

But safety is at the core of Anonson’s political campaign this fall.

In an effort to adhere to the guidelines for essential travel only, Anonson has been mailing out information about his qualifications and goals to citizens residing in Region# 4 as well as making phone calls to MNBC citizens about his campaign priorities if successfully elected.

“It wouldn’t be very responsible for me to go out and meet all of these people in-person if I catch COVID-19 and start spreading it around while travelling,” he said, noting there is over 1,000 voters in Region #4.

He remains hopeful that voters will continue to be receptive to hearing more about his candidacy and objectives while safely following provincial health recommendations from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“In order to represent people, you need to talk to them,” Anonson told the Pioneer by phone. “You’re a representative of the people. You have to talk to them and find out what they need.”