Fedorkiw seeking federal Conservative nomination

A man with a well-known name around Prince George is seeking to become the Conservative candidate in Cariboo-Prince George when the next federal election is called.

Nick Fedorkiw, 35, played up his expertise as an economist and his experience working for the finance department in Ottawa during an interview Friday.

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"I think the thing that everyone is talking about in the Cariboo-Prince George riding is what exactly is our economy going to look like going forward and specifically in the natural resources sector," Fedorkiw said.

In that respect, Fedorkiw said he can bring plenty to the table.

Born and raised in Prince George, Fedorkiw earned a bachelor degree in economics at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. and then a masters in economics at the University of Toronto.

From there, he worked for the federal government's Ministry of Finance where he was part of the team that drafted the budget.

"That's where I basically learned how government works," Fedorkiw said. "Putting together those budgets every year, seeing that led by the Minister of Finance with all the other ministers, the MPs and the small town mayors asking for money for their pet projects."

His first day on that job began one week after Paul Martin was fired. He worked under John Manley and Ralph Goodale when the Liberals were in power and under Jim Flaherty when the Conservatives took over.

"I've always been a student of the political system and government, I've always been curious about it," Fedorkiw said. "That's where I first saw up close how it operates and that's when I thought one day I should put my own name forward if the opportunity every came. As a civil servant you can never get involved in the process and Ottawa never felt like my home, anyway. I spent a lot of time back here."

In 2008, he resigned from the job and went to London, England where he worked for a startup energy company.

"I would look at power markets and decide whether or not we could make money investing in them," Fedorkiw said. "And I was involved in the development of renewable energy projects, so looking at different models for energy development around the world, and that's one of the perspectives I would like to bring to this region. I've seen a lot of other ways that other people do it and I think I could bring some fresh ideas when it comes to moving our natural resources sector forward."

He moved back to Prince George in 2011, where he is an independent consultant.

"I always intended on coming back here," Fedorkiw said. "Once I got involved in the energy sector, I realized the potential for natural resources, particularly here in British Columbia. I knew they would take off at some point.

"So my plan was to build up my skill set and gain some experience abroad and when it started to take off here in British Columbia, I'd come back."

As the son of Robert and Terry Fedorkiw, he comes from a well-known family around Prince George. Robert, who died in 2012, was a notary and Terry is a physiotherapist and also known for her involvement in Theatre North West.

His brother, Garrett, is a co-owner of Nancy O's restaurant and his sister, Allison, founded 27 Million Voices development agency and in 2013 was named one of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce 40 professionals under the age of 40.

In terms of attracting support, Fedorkiw has been doing plenty of networking through business acquaintances, friends and family.

"It's important to note that this isn't a general election, this is a nomination, so I need to identify people who are naturally conservative and get them to support me," he said.

The constituency's current MP, Dick Harris, has not said he will be stepping down after 21 years in the job. Fedorkiw said he has a lot of respect for Harris but even if Harris decides he wants to stay on for another term, Fedorkiw said he will still contest the nomination.

"I would like to continue being a good constituency MP if I'm successful, but I think that given the issues of our time right now, I am more suited to addressing those issues than he is," Fedorkiw said.

"The issues of our time are, what is our natural resources sector going to look like go forward, and I think I am best qualified to take that on."

Todd Doherty, formerly 2015 Canada Winter Games' director of revenue generation and Gerald Caron, a teacher in Vanderhoof, are also running for the position.

Doherty has said he will not run if Harris decides to stay on and Caron has said he doubts that will be an issue by this fall.

Fedorkiw has a website at nickformp.ca.

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