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Cranbrook lawyer joins race for Conservative nomination

John Zimmer speaks to media after announcing his candidacy for the Conservative nomination. - Kerstin Renner
John Zimmer speaks to media after announcing his candidacy for the Conservative nomination.
— image credit: Kerstin Renner

Surrounded by supporters and party members, Cranbrook lawyer John Zimmer formally announced on Wednesday that he was seeking the nomination to represent the Conservative Party in the Kootenay-Columbia riding in the next federal election.

“I believe that this riding needs someone who can continue the solid representation of this riding,” Zimmer explained. “I want to build on the accomplishments Jim Abbott achieved in office.”

Zimmer believes that his background gives him the skills to fill that role. He has lived and worked in the community for the past 15 years and is currently practicing law with the firm Miles, Daroux, Zimmer & Associates. His professional experience, Zimmer stated, has given him the skills to analyze and resolve issues without compromising his principles. Furthermore, he feels he has the listening and people skills that would help him bring concerns of people living and working here to Ottawa.

“Over the past several years, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to discuss politics with many of the fine people in this riding,” Zimmer said. Two of the main issues he has heard are concerns about the long gun registry as well as the expectation that the government’s focus remain on the economy.

“Criminals don’t register guns,” he emphasized. “Criminals that have stolen guns, they certainly don’t register those.” That is why Zimmer said he was in full support of scrapping a wasteful program.

Zimmer stated a strong commitment to the College of the Rockies was one of the accomplishments of Jim Abbott, and he wants to continue in the same direction as post-secondary education is essential to staying competitive in the global economy. Zimmer also advocated for enhanced trade with Asia and continued improvements to the infrastructure in the country, such as the vital transportation corridors in this region.

Zimmer’s decision to throw his hat in the ring does not come as a surprise to many. “I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while,” he admitted and said representing the riding in Parliament would be an honour and a privilege.

It would also come with a price and Zimmer is aware that the immense size of the riding - it reaches from Revelstoke to Golden, to the Alberta border and over to Creston - will be a challenge. MP Jim Abbott has warned him that it is a major undertaking to do a tour of the riding.

For Zimmer, however, the benefits far outweigh any challenges and he is looking forward to a continuation of his active involvement. “I’ve always believed that when I give to my community, I will get back tenfold,” Zimmer explained. He was sure that the same holds true for working on a federal level.

John Zimmer joins Sparwood mayor David Wilks, Creston councilor Wes Graham and Radium resident Dale Shudra in the race for the Conservative nomination. Ken Miller, president of the Conservatives Kootenay-Columbia riding association, says they have made a request to the National Council of the party to hold a nomination convention in late April.

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