In his youth, Green Party candidate Brendan Ralfs signed up to be a forest firefighter, hoping to make a difference in his community.
Now, more than 20 years later, Ralfs is trying to do that again, but not as a firefighter, but as a politician, running for MLA in the new Langford-Juan de Fuca riding.
“Working as a forest firefighter instiled in me a real passion for public service and also an interest in climate change, seeing that as a major threat facing B.C. and the planet,” said Ralfs, who promised himself that after he returned to Victoria full time, he’ll throw his shoulder behind the wheel of a political party and get more engaged.
“The Green Party was the one for me with the platform. I had the platform, I had the values of the party and I respected the leader,” he said.
With this election approaching, he felt there was a need to step up his game and finally chase that political dream.
“They were looking for someone to run in this riding. I didn’t have to think too long. It felt like the right thing to do,” Ralfs said, adding running in an election can be a little weird for someone who hasn’t done it before.
“Some parts of it felt quite unnatural, such as billboards with your face on it,” he laughed.
Transportation is a big one to for Ralfs, especially with the Colwood Crawl, recognizing it’s the most pressing issue in Sooke where people really need some resolution.
Born and raised in Victoria, Ralfs grew up in a family where politics were part of the dinner table discussion; as such, he was always engaged individually with politics since an early age.
He studied French immersion in public school before tackling English and Latin at the University of Victoria. After joining forest fighting forces, he wanted to do it for the first two years, but liked it so much, he stuck around for another 20.
He’s also a movie lover and has been involved in martial arts since he was 13, given his passion for health and staying fit.
As far as the election goes, Ralfs says no one owes him a vote, but if they look at the Green Party platform and him as a candidate and feel they can relate, then by all means make the move.
“If you feel that we best represent your vision for a political future in B.C. and who you’d like to see as your advocate representing you, then please vote for me,” he said.
“The most important thing is that people vote. I’d be happy to lose to a 90 per cent voter turnout than win or lose to a 50 per cent voter turnout.”