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

Loggers Golf Tournament returns to the links at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club

The North Island Logger’s Golf Tournament has been running for over 30 years.

Port McNeill Kids in Motion gets 300 bucks from council for swimming time at outdoor pool

Port McNeill Kids in Motion are a registered non-profit society,

Tyson’s Thoughts: Flag raising ceremony a great start to pride festivities

It was beautiful to see a group of people celebrate who they truly are and not be afraid to do so.

Blue Sox dominate Sneak Attack at Fathers Day Classic

Blue Sox got out to an early lead and kept building on it with strong hitting and quality fielding.

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read