After a childhood between the Sunshine Coast and a family cabin in Whistler, Robert Bebb (who goes by Doug) worked across Canada and the U.S. before settling in Whistler six years ago.
It's this history living in different parts of the West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky country riding that he thinks makes him a good candidate for the 2019 federal election.
Bebb is a semi-retired mechanical engineer, who says he decided to run as the People's Party of Canada (PPC) candidate, "because the opportunity couldn't be passed up." He attributes his practical character and engineering background as qualities that help him work efficiently.
It's this move into politics that is new to Bebb, who up until recently believed politics to be a lost cause due to pandering by parties, he said, which he thinks causes a division between industries and social groups alike.
Of the PPC, he said, "We're going to treat everybody the same. As a party, we think equal rights for all is an important thing."
He said now he thinks there's a movement to make change, pointing to Brexit and the election of U.S. president Donald Trump as examples.
"He's a controversial character, but the underlying force that brought him to power is the same that I think is propelling Brexit. I think a lot of individual people have had enough of this pandering, favourite-picking form of government, and they're standing up," he said. "I think that groundswell, that wave of populism is ripe to make change in Canada."
The People's Party of Canada, he said, is going to withdraw from the Paris Accord.
The multi-nation agreement signed in 2016 in Paris, deals with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
As few committed countries are close to their targets, Bebb said the honest thing to do is withdraw. He added that if Canada were able to meet the targets of the Paris Accord, it would come at a great financial cost, with little impact on the global climate.
"You can think what you want about Donald Trump, but in my opinion, he did the honest thing in taking the U.S. out of the Paris Accord. It's a bunch of people, sitting around a table, telling fibs," he said.
The questions he returns to are: "What are you selling? Will it work? And how much is it going to cost?"
The Paris Accord, Bebb said, will come at a cost of lifestyle.
"We're going to kill the carbon tax, and scale back on subsidizes to green energy initiatives," Bebb said.
This comes from the PPC's desire for smaller government, he said. There would be no carbon tax at the federal level, although provincial governments could choose to apply their own.
"First of all, it's not even carbon. It's carbon dioxide. We could call it oxygen, because it's one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms," he said. "It's not really carbon. It's carbon dioxide that they say is the primary driver of warming. That's the mechanism by which they're going to cause serious detrimental impact to our economy, through carbon taxation."
As for subsidies, Bebb said electric vehicles don't make sense in Canada outside of urban areas. The renewable energies that exist, he said, exist because of government subsidies, which he wants to scale back.
"Millenials just seem to think that boomers have wrecked the place," he said. "They have to realize that if we do this sort of expensive carbon mitigation today, that bill is still going to be there in the future. I don't think it's entirely clear that it's in their best interest to pursue this at their expense."
On a more local scale, Bebb points out that while he's lived in the riding, he's never lived in Squamish.
"In fact, Squamish has grown so much I hardly recognize it. There's cranes all over the place, fresh concrete. I'm sure you've got growing pains here."
He plans to meet with mayors across the riding to discuss the issues their communities face. He's already sat down with the mayors of Gibbons and Sechelt. So far, issues he's heard include housing.
"I think to some degree this is impacted by our immigration policy. Canada is taking in a huge amount of immigrants, almost numerically on par with the United States, despite the fact that we have a tenth of the population. A little math will tell you that on a per capita basis, we are bringing in 10 times the rate that the U.S. is accepting. You think to yourself this is no big deal, Canada is a big country, we've got lots of landmass, but it does put stress on housing, medical wait times, infrastructure, all these things," he said, adding the People's Party of Canada will cut back on immigration, and prioritize skilled immigrants.
Money currently spent on overseas programs, he said, should be spent in Canada on Canadians.
So far, there are two other candidates for the 2019 federal election in the West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky riding. Gabrielle Loren, the Conservative candidate, was the first to announce her campaign, followed by the Green Party's Dana Taylor.