Michele Babchuk

Election 2020: Michele Babchuk, the NDP candidate for North Island

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

As many of you are probably already aware, Michele Babchuk has set aside her role as Chair of the Strathcona Regional District board to become the NDP candidate for North Island. 

I caught up to her, for a few minutes between meetings, and asked, “why should we vote for you, in particular?

pedicab passing in front of BC legislature byJoe Mabel via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Michele Babchuk – “I really do believe that I have been doing this since 2005. With School District 72, then the city [of Campbell River] and Chair of the Strathcona District … I bring a breadth of knowledge to the riding and have quite a good understanding of all of the issues that are very complex in this riding – from urban, to rural and remote and First Nations issues through-out the whole North Island riding.” 

Q/ Didn’t you have connection with Ottawa at one point?

Michele Babchuk – “Yes … I was [NDP] caucus staff for a few years. So I did work in the constituency and occasionally in Ottawa.”

Q/ What is the most important issue of this election?

Michele Babchuk – “I think if you asked ten different people, you’d get ten different answers … I do believe that public health and safety through COVID pandemic is going to continue to be top of mind for most British Columbians and I am extremely happy with Premier Horgan and the way his government have handled that.I know that we are going to be looking at economic stability for some of our rural and remote communities that are going to be looking to make sure there are jobs for their people. We’ve had some people hurting in our areas … As we move forward through this pandemic, we need to look at how we are going to ameliorate some of those because I don’t believe [COVID] is going to go away that quickly … We have some environmental issues that we still have to challenge.I also believe some of those rural, remote and First Nations communities have connectivity issues they are going to be dealing with. I know that through my dealing with rural directors, that connectivity is a huge issue for some of the islands.All in all, I think economic diversity though all of our areas is going to be key in this election.”   

“I have been around this area for quite a long time, Roy, and really do consider it quite an honour to work with all levels of government here. I am excited to take on the challenge. I’m excited to … earn every vote I canon the North Island, from rural to urban. I’m just getting my team going now, and they’re all excited, so hopefully we can make a big difference moving forward.” 

Top photo credit: John Horgan boarding a jet in Nanaimo during the 2017 campaign – BC NDP via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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