ELECTION: Council candidate not afraid to speak up
If Harvey Keys is elected as a city councillor in the Sept. 15 byelection, he says he won’t be sitting on his hands.
“I’m not afraid to risk my neck to get something done,” said Keys. “And I’m not afraid to say something.”
Keys first ran for council in the November 2011 general election and was defeated; however, he says he decided to run again because he is not happy with the way things are going in the city and would like to see business improve in the downtown core.
“Windows are getting broken and no one is shopping downtown,” he said. “The town is dying — what business is going to close down next?
“I don’t want to hear ‘we’ve tried it before.’”
Keys, who co-owns Vision Quest Optical and Gifts on Quilchena Avenue, said he would like to see the City support local initiatives such as Cash Mobs, which encourages residents to shop at local stores.
He said he would also like to see the BC Hydro Merritt Area Transmission Project move forward.
“That would bring a lot of business to Merritt,” he said. “I’d also like to find ways to encourage more tourists to come downtown than stop by gasoline alley.”
Keys is a member of the Horton First Nation and was born in Hamilton, Ont. Before moving to Merritt six years ago, he worked in Hollywood from 1986 to 2005 building sets for movies and television shows. Some well-known projects include Terminator 2, Batman 2, and Lois and Clark, which he worked on for two years.
He spent four years working for Universal Studios building western sets, which led to his move to Merritt.
“I moved to Merritt to work on the western facades for businesses,” he said. “I did Planet Hair, the Adelphi Hotel and now I’m doing some work for Angel’s Animal Rescue.”
When he first moved to Merritt, Keys says he led a campaign to expose local crack houses.
General voting will take place on Sept. 15, with advanced voting on Sept. 5 and 12.