Editor’s note: This is the first in a series profiling the five known Sarnia-Lambton candidates in the Oct. 21 federal election. Each attended a get-to-know-you meeting at the Sarnia-Lambton Golden K Kiwanis Club, and they appear in alphabetical order.
Brian Everaert is introducing himself to voters as a man who says exactly how he feels and pulls no punches.
“I talk from my heart,” says the 45-year-old ironworker. “I believe in voting for the actual person, not the colour of the sign in the yard. I like to be the person who is representing everyone.”
Everaert, the People’s Party of Canada candidate in Sarnia-Lambton, grew up in Wallaceburg, graduated high school and went to work for a local company that made hockey sticks.
He later moved to Windsor to become a millwright, joined the Iron Workers Local 700 and found a job in Chemical Valley.
“I have been treated so well in Sarnia,” he said. “I am an advocate for (companies in) Chemical Valley. Not everybody works in Chemical Valley but we need to protect that … because they employ us. They are an asset for the community.
“Sometimes people go against them and try to make them clean up their act and stuff. I’m standing up for them. Just so everybody knows, I’m pro Chemical Valley.”
Everaert has been employed by numerous industrial companies and is currently working on the expansion at Nova Chemicals.
His job has taken him across the country, to the Oil Sands of Alberta and elsewhere.
“Being in the work camps really made me think about how important my family is to me,” said Everaert, who has a partner, Shannon, and two stepchildren.
“I really have an important thing in my heart to make sure we keep our economy thriving in Sarnia-Lambton,” he said.
“Our tradespeople need to be here working with their family.”
This is Everaert’s third political campaign since 2018. He ran unsuccessfully for the Trillium Party in the provincial election and ran again in the municipal election in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat long-time St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold.
He didn’t believe he would win the mayoral race, he said, but ran because he wanted to raise the issue of how the municipality bids for projects.
“Now there are new ethics rules in the township, and things are better because I brought the issue forward,” he said.
Everaert is a hunter and believes in legal gun ownership in Canada.
“I want to get tough on drugs, crime and illegal firearms,” he said. “It’s one of my main things.
“You see the drug issue in Sarnia decaying our community. That being said, we can’t be putting pressure on people who are addicted to drugs and treating them like outcasts.”
Everaert said he refuses to be quiet when he sees wrong being done.
“When I see the little guy getting stomped on, or whoever it is, I’ll help them. My skin is really thick and leathery. I’m a union ironworker so I really don’t care if people don’t like what I say.”
He once supported the Conservatives federally and Stephen Harper is one of his favourite prime ministers, he said.
“It was very hard for me to separate myself from that party, but I saw things changing that I didn’t like. I left the party and joined in with the PPCs and I haven’t looked back.”