FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Incumbent Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has represented Northeast B.C. in Parliament for 10 years and aims to hold onto that seat come September 20th.

Despite Conservatives having a tight grip on the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding, Zimmer says he is working hard to remain the region’s MP.

“I hear it a lot. [People say], Bob, you got this, it’s a slam dunk. I never view it that way. [Like the] old sports analogy, I always play like we’re down two. We really don’t assume anything,”

The day the snap election was called, Zimmer and his wife placed the first sign of his fourth campaign.

While travelling through the riding, Zimmer says many constituents have been greeting him, and requesting signs.

“I think we’re going to run out. It’s just been unprecedented, actually, the support, so things are going very well.”

There are constituents in the riding who do not support Zimmer after comments he made in the past.

During an all-candidates forum in 2015, Zimmer said, “one of the major drivers of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is the lack of economic activity, or simply put, the lack of a job.”He had recently apologized for making the comments in June during a vigil in Fort St. John, honouring the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school.

He was also one of 63 MPs to vote against a bill banning conversion therapy, which he claimed was due to the wording.

Zimmer says he is always open to having a rational conversation about his decisions.

“Most groups that I’ve talked to about it, once we have the conversation, they realize where I’m coming from, and it’s very balanced. That’s what I just try and do is just explain how I vote.”

At the very top of Zimmer’s list of focuses is making sure that there are jobs to make sure the economy ‘keeps chugging along.’

He believes some sectors need ‘to do better,’ such as forestry.

“For the past few years, I’ve been working on getting a softer lumber agreement, for just predictability and surety for the sector and for the people that work in it.”

Zimmer is also behind sharing the country’s clean natural gas with the world to help reduce gas emissions. Continuing with his work over the past several years, Zimmer will also continue pushing against caribou, and river closures in the country.

“There’s a lot of work that we’ve been doing down to the constituency level in the office. We do a lot of just helping folks with regular problems, regular issues and, again, we’re very busy. But again, there are lots to do.”

Despite some concerns about having an election during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimmer believes many Canadians just want a change in leadership.

“We just see what’s happening in Ottawa, and what’s happening across the country is just unacceptable to most of us, and we want change.”

Advanced voting takes place for four days, starting September 10th.

The 2021 Federal Election will be held on September 20th.

Other candidates who plan on running in the northeast riding include the Maverick Party’s Dave Jeffers, the NDP’s Cory Longley, the Green’s Catherine Kendall, the PPC’s Ryan Dyck and Liberal candidate Amir Alavi.