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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Trystan Jones appeared on Moose Talks Friday to discuss race in rural communities and announced his plans to run in the upcoming Fort St. John by-election.

Jones grew up on a farm in the Peace region and is of Scottish, Welsh, and Chinese descent. He is a third-year political science student at Simon Fraser University.

The school requested speakers to perform at an upcoming TedxTalk event, and Jones decided to submit his application. After a lengthy interview process, he was selected to speak at the event.

Jones’ presentation was titled The Rural Reality: A Conversation on Race in Rural Canada. He shared experiences growing up in the Peace Region as an Asian Canadian, experiencing discrimination in the summer of 2020, and a call to open up dialogue around race issues.

“From a very young age, race has always been a thing that has affected my life. I grew up in Montney and Rose Prairie, just outside of town, and I attended Upper Pine Elementary School. Pretty much all throughout my early childhood education, the race was the number one thing that caused conflict in my life,” says Jones.

As a result of his experience, Jones has decided to put his name in to fill the vacant seat on Council after Becky Grimsrud resigned in January.

“It is my intention to seek the nomination for candidacy for this upcoming by-election. It is my hope that we can begin putting a diverse portfolio and to have people in power that represent the way the region is going.”

The by-election will be held May 15th, and Jones says it’s important to have these discussions.

“People want to have these discussions, and we need elected leaders who are willing to have these conversations and have the experience of dealing with them themselves.”

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