Rachel Blaney, New Democrat MP for the North Island-Powell River, speaking to party members at Merville Hall on Saturday. NDP riding president Chris Markevich is pictured at right. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Rachel Blaney acclaimed as NDP candidate for North Island-Powell River

NDP holds AGM and nomination meeting at Merville Hall

Rachel Blaney, the MP for North Island-Powell River, was officially acclaimed as NDP candidate for this year’s federal election on Saturday, as party members met for their AGM and nomination meeting.

Blaney rallied a crowd of about 35 at Merville Hall, asking them to donate to the riding association and knock on doors during the upcoming campaign. She stressed concerns about social justice during a speech after accepting the nomination.

“So many people in this country are still struggling and falling behind,” she said. “The government forgets about them, and it is our job to stand in that place and say, ‘You will not forget the people who are fighting everyday just for basic survival.’”

During her remarks on Saturday, she stressed the problem of poverty among elderly people, particularly those who lose access to the Guaranteed Income Supplement if they don’t file an income tax return.

READ MORE: Shelley Downey acclaimed as North Island—Powell River federal Conservative candidate

She also stressed concerns about the lack of affordable housing in the riding.

“We have people coming into our office crying because they cannot find a place to live,” she said. “We have families being torn apart because they cannot find a place to live.”

She also said that low federal funding was resulting in a poor standard of health care in Canada, and she called for the implementation of a national pharmacare program.

Blaney also focused attention on forced or coerced sterilization of Indigenous women, an issue that has brought international scrutiny to Canada in recent months amid mounting reports of the practice.

“Indigenous women are being told, in this country today, that if they don’t get sterilized, they don’t get to see their newborn child,” she said. “I know women that it has happened to.”

In a report released in December, the UN Committee Against Torture expressed concern about reports of “extensive forced or coerced sterilization of Indigenous women” from the 1970s until recent years, and it called for an impartial investigation of the practice and policy measure to prevent it, along with redress for victims.

READ MORE: Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

Blaney’s roles in the federal NDP include deputy whip, critic for seniors’ affairs and vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Blaney is also a member of the executive for the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

Blaney won the 2015 race with 40.2 per cent of the popular vote, while candidates from the Conservative and Liberal parties each garnered roughly 25 per cent each. The Green Party finished with 8.2 per cent of the vote.

The date of this year’s general election is slated for Oct. 21. Nothing prevents the government from calling it earlier, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated that it will take place on the fixed date.


@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Local Muay Thai fighters gain experience, win hardware at nationals

Noel wins novice fight by unanimous decision in Edmonton

‘Food recovery program working brilliantly,’ says food bank manager

Campbell River Food Bank program fills community’s stomachs with fresh food, keeping excess out of landfill

Howie Meeker Golf Classic helping Special Olympians realize dreams

31st annual event raises money for Campbell River Special Olympics

Mowi says all Campbell River-area farms now certified to ASC standard

ASC represents ‘gold standard in environmental and social certification,’ company says

Strathcona Regional District rejects well out of concern for Oyster River watershed

Board won’t entertain actions that facilitate additional development, threaten the Oyster River,

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Most Read