Usoff Tsao with wife Michelle and two sons, Lucas and Liam at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre in 2019. (Submitted photo)

Usoff Tsao announces bid for director seat

He will be campaigning for the seat in Area A (Wells Gray Country)

Usoff Tsao announced on Saturday, May 21, that he would be running for directorship of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Electoral Area A (Wells Gray Country) in the upcoming 2022 fall election.

Tsao, his wife Michelle were born in Hong Kong, but met in Vancouver while attending university. They later moved back to Hong Kong and stayed for 15 years. In 2019, they moved to the Clearwater area with their two boys, Lucas and Liam.

“It has been everything we dreamed for our family,” he said in a post to Facebook where he made the announcement.

Tsao noted he wants to contribute back to the community by listening to the needs of the electorate and advocating for them on the TNRD board of directors. He invited anyone and everyone to reach out through email, phone or Facebook with suggestions, questions and concerns.

“I intend to listen to every voice and hear how the TNRD can better serve them,” Tsao wrote.

Just a few days after his original post, he said he received a lot of messages about resident’s concerns. He noted one concern in particular.

Another Blackpool resident had reached out about a left-hand turning lane onto Jenkins Road from Highway 5. The busy intersection is considered dangerous by many residents and has been the site of a few near misses and a number of serious collisions.

Tsao said he contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure himself in December 2019, but said resident concerns were dismissed. He added they told him the Ministry’s 2016 survey “sufficiently addressed” resident’s concerns.

If elected, Tsao said he would bring up the topic again with MoTI.

“It has been six years since their study and the pipeline project alone has brought an increase in traffic,” he wrote on May 24, noting the potential for a mine operation in the future would add to traffic flow. “As we all know, infrastructure projects take years to realize and, as the saying goes, ‘The best day to plant a tree to enjoy its shade is yesterday.’”

He also vowed to speak with various area stakeholders, such as volunteer organizations and First Nations representatives, for their ideas and perspectives.

“I will endeavour to establish good communications between the TNRD governance and constituents through layperson terms to promote everyone’s engagement with the government that serves them,” said Tsao.

Those who would like to reach out can email, call (778) 208-7898 or message him directly through Facebook.

TNRD director for Area A Carol Schaffer told the Times she is currently thinking about running but has not yet made a final decision.

“A lot can happen between now and October,” she said in an email. “I have just finished my yearly community meetings and am working on the requests for information or issues that are of concern to residents.”

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