Incumbent NDP candidate Rachel Blaney wants to continue to hold the government accountable and secure what her constituents and Canadians need to navigate tremendous challenges such as climate change and COVID-19 recovery.
MP for the North Island-Powell River since 2015, Blaney also served as the NDP whip, critic for Veterans Affairs, and deputy critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services in her fight to ensure Ottawa meets the needs of small businesses, families, and rural remote communities, she said.
Blaney is proud of the NDP’s success in getting the Liberal minority government to improve or provide the measures needed for people to cope with the pandemic, such as boosting federal benefits like CERB, and supports for seniors, students, and people with disabilities.
“With the Liberals, we hear, again and again, a lot of really great talking points that sound good to people, but then they don’t happen,” she said.
“The NDP has a proven track record of working collaboratively, and pushing hard to get things that matter to people.”
Many of the main issues in her coastal riding are related to the climate crisis, Blaney said.
“Many people are very concerned about the well-being of our ocean and the wild salmon stocks and what (climate change) impacts are going to mean for our communities,” she said.
Old-growth forests are also top of mind, she said, adding voters want to see strategies that protect and manage forests to combat the climate crisis while creating sustainable jobs.
Blaney says she advocates for rural and remote communities, so they can be more resilient and mitigate climate change, and they’ll be able to shape strategies around clean technology and the infrastructure changes facing businesses and homeowners.
“It’s about how we acknowledge the real environmental impacts that we're seeing in our region, and creating local solutions that make sense to us here,” she said.
The country’s COVID-19 recovery must address affordability and increase economic inequality across Canada — especially when it comes to housing, said Blaney.
“People are being priced out of their communities, rents are getting more and more expensive, and people are getting evicted,” she said.
“People are just questioning how you get ahead if you can't even afford the basic things you need, like a roof over your head.”
Blaney points to her work that ensured people’s voices were heard in Ottawa as she pushed to end delays veterans faced getting services and benefits, worked with Indigenous communities to achieve justice and meaningful reconciliation, and moved forward legislation to ensure Ottawa supports seniors and eliminates profit in the long-term care system.
“When we look at the issues, and you really want to get stuff done for people and get politicians to stop talking about it, the NDP gets that work done.”
Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada's National Observer
Rochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Canada's National Observer