Tumbler Ridge resident running in federal election

Trent Ernst, Editor


A Tumbler Ridge resident is running for parliament in this year’s Federal Election. However, he’s not running in this riding.

Don Spratt, who has been living in Tumbler Ridge for the last 15 years, will be running for the Christian Heritage Party (CHP) in the riding of Skeena Bulkley Valley.

Spratt was unopposed at a nominating meeting held August 24 in Smithers.

In the past, Rod Taylor has run in the riding, but Taylor, who was chosen as the head of the Christian Heritage Party last fall, is instead running in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding.

While Spratt calls Tumbler Ridge home, he is a frequent traveler and has been rarely seen in these parts the last few months. He winters down in Arizona, he says on the phone from Smithers, where he is staying until the campaign is over, and has been travelling a lot recently with his daughter getting married earlier in the year, then to a number of family funerals.

Usually, he’d be back to work driving truck in the summer, but with the mines closed down, “I guess I’m semi-retired now,” he says.

Spratt, says his official biography on the CHP site, was born at Davidson, Saskatchewan, and raised on his parents’ grain farm. He graduated from Full Gospel Bible College in 1973 where he met his wife Gloria in 1969. They were married at Penticton in 1971, and have been together 44 years.

Since graduation, he has served as a pastor, gospel singer, recording artist, Bible teacher, evangelist, missionary and international humanitarian aid and development. He was ordained in 1981.

Spratt has also been a Christian human and civil rights activist working for the release of persecuted pastors and dissidents in the former Soviet Union and other communist nations since the late 1970s.

Don became increasingly active in the mid-1980s defending the pre-born and the traditional family, helping found and publish the Life Gazette Newspaper. He was nominated and ran for Surrey council in 1985 and 1986 with the Surrey Non-Partisan Association.

This, he says, is one of the key reasons why he is running, and why he is running in the Skeena Bulkley. “I’ve been a member of the CHP for 25 years,” he says, “But I haven’t been all that active until this year. I’m non-partisan. Bob Zimmer is a pretty good guy on the issues that I’m concerned about, and he checks out as far as being pro-life, pro-family, so we wouldn’t want to oppose them. If there is a strong pro-life, pro-family candidate in a riding, we try not to run against them. I’d vote for Bob any day.”

Spratt is “a passionate defender of the rights of the unborn, and has gone to jail in the past for his work with Operation Rescue.” He was involved in a pair of court cases to see the Access to Abortion Services Act of BC (the ‘bubble zone’ law) struck down as unconstitutional.

His application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada rejected June 18, 2009. Then he was arrested and convicted again for simply passing out copies of the Act in a ‘bubble zone’ to warn people that they could be jailed for being there.

Don worked closely with his friend and fellow minister, the Rev. Kenneth Campbell for the last six years of his life conducting conferences and producing radio broadcasts, based out of Tumbler Ridge. After Rev. Campbell passed away, Don took over as president of Renaissance Canada (in education) Canada, which was later closed.

Spratt is currently in the process of founding a new organization called Life & Liberty Network. He says there needs to be more “true conservatives” in Ottawa. “we need more true conservatives in the conservative party or we need the CHP to gain some power,” he says.

He says his plan is to take an unapologetic stance based of the “historic foundation of Canada,” and let the chips fall where they may.

Spratt says support for the CHP is probably the strongest in the Skeena Bulkley, but admits that it’s a long shot. “The party hasn’t elected anyone to parliament, so it would be a first. But this is a very heavily NDP area,” he says.

“But I’m a Christian, so I do believe in miracles.”