Claire Trevena says she is very proud and honoured to have been the MLA for the North Island for the past 12 years and she is going into the upcoming campaign with as much enthusiasm as she did her first one.
“I believe in what the NDP can do for our communities and our province,” she said. “I believe we have a role to play to help bring about a better B.C.”
Trevena originally came to Canada, in 1993, as a BBC foreign correspondent.
“As a journalist you have to be able to listen to people, you’ve got to be able to understand their stories and share their stories,” she said. “And I think that skills translates into politics because on an individual basis you are listening to people and you are translating their stories. As opposition I translate peoples stories into action that I take to government. Whether it is in advocating for them individually or in groups.”
From journalism, she switched gears, running a business that worked in international development, before deciding to get involved in politics.
“It was time to get my hands dirty in a different way,” she said.
During her 12 years in the legislature, Trevena has held many critic portfolios including child care, women’s issues and most recently, transportation and says she feels she has made connections and built relationships with her colleagues, regardless of party affiliation.
“People see the antagonism of question period and so one but you get things done because you build up working relationships with ministers and with government members, that is how the system really works,” she said.
What are some major concerns you have about the province right now?
“We’ve had 16 years of government that has ignored the basic needs of this province.
“We’ve had a government that favours it’s friends rather than the people who they should be serving
“There are massive problems with affordability in the province from BC Hydro to ferries and ICBC – everybody is seeing the costs go up. We’ve had a government that has neglected essential services for 16 years.
“The government has suddenly discovered it has got a role to play in public education-only because the supreme court told it that it had to invest in public education.
“Our seniors and their families are concerned about the care they are getting, they are concerned about how they are going to make ends meat, they are concerned about being in a safe place where they will have an affordable home.
“There are so many different issues that have been neglected and need to be fixed: affordability issues, services that have been undermined and really bad government.
How do you respond to critics and people who don’t agree with you?
“Talk to them, and listen to them. Having the skills in bringing people together, and not just listen but act upon individual stories and community issues. I hope that my record shows that.”
Since a vote for you is a vote for the NDP, why should we vote NDP?
“People who are tired of what has been happening over the last 16 years need to have hope. They are not getting hope from this government. I think that hope of a better society and a better B.C. can be attained.
“The NDP are planning on investing in kids education and child care. We are campaigning on $10 a day child care.
“We want to make sure that we are giving people hope but making it tangible and bringing about change.
“Everything we have said so far, which is vast, is all about hope, there is a better B.C. We all know B.C. has the potential, let’s go for it.”
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