Esquimalt resident Josh Steffler is running under the BC Libertarian Party banner in this year’s election after running as an independent four years ago. Photo courtesy Josh Steffler

Esquimalt resident Josh Steffler is running under the BC Libertarian Party banner in this year’s election after running as an independent four years ago. Photo courtesy Josh Steffler

CANDIDATE PROFILE: Libertarian voices optimism for chances in Esquimalt-Metchosin

Langford-raised Josh Steffler advocates for smaller government, more privatization

When asked how far away the province is from having a representative from the BC Libertarian Party in the legislature, Esquimalt-Metchosin candidate Josh Steffler – one of 30 candidates for the party in the May 9 election – isn’t shy about his answer.

“I think we’ll get one this time around. We’ve got 30 chances to get one MLA and I think I’ll be the one,” he said. “We’re where the Green Party was five or maybe 10 years ago … It only takes one member to get elected to really bring legitimacy to that idea and it takes off.”

While he grew up in Langford, Steffler now lives in Esquimalt with his wife and three children.

When not working as a baker at Country Grocer or producing Freedom Free For All, a local cable access show he puts together with friends that features a news and interview format, Steffler shares many of the same hobbies as others in the Capital Region, including hiking and kayaking.

“I can’t live without the ocean. The air is cleaner, the breeze is amazing. I’ve travelled all across Canada from Prince Edward Island and back. If I didn’t live on this island, I’d live on Prince Edward Island,” he said.

Steffler says it was American politician Ron Paul who awakened him to the idea of Libertarianism. “(He) cured me of my socialism,” he added.

The MLA hopeful believes in smaller government and advocates for privatization of some health care and education services to create competition. But he also believes police, fire and court services should remain publicly funded.

As for BC Ferries, he sees a need for a private competitor on that front, as well.

“I want to make government leaner. There’s a lot of fat that can be cut,” he said.

Steffler ran as an independent in the 2013 provincial election, garnering support from 343 voters, or 1.51 per cent of the total number of ballots cast.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

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