Chilliwack's November school board byelection promises to span the political spectrum.
Ben Besler, a former vice-president of the BC Conservative Party and the current vice-president of the Chilliwack BC Liberal Party riding association, announced his bid for a trustee seat Tuesday morning.
Besler joins Dan Coulter, current president of the Chilliwack-Hope BC NDP constituency association, who announced his intention to run in the byelection last month.
A candidate for the BCCP in the 2009 provincial election, Besler was active in the party until switching his allegiance to the BC Liberals and becoming a campaign director for fellow BCCP defector John Martin in last year's provincial election. Besler and his wife Rachel own a small business in Chilliwack and have three children enrolled in the school district.
His middle daughter, who is in Grade 3, has special needs, and Besler was among a group of vocal parents pressing the school board to form an ad hoc committee in February 2012 to bring more consistency and accountability to the school district's education of students with autism.
The parents' lobbying sparked an extensive review of special education completed last February.
"I believe that every child deserves every opportunity possible to reach his or her greatest potential; a potential that can be reached through good fiscal management and a responsible and accountable approach to the way we provide educational services," Besler said in a press release.
Besler is a member of the school district's Special Education Advisory Committee and sits on the Student Services Committee as a parent representative. He is also the current chair of the B.C. Partners in Education roundtable and a director at the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre.
The Nov. 30 byelection is being held to replace former school board chair Louise Piper who resigned in August for medical reasons.
Other would-be candidates who have announced their intention to run include District Parent Advisory Council vice-president Corey Neyrinck and former school board candidate Karen Jarvis.
The nomination period runs until Oct. 25.
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