Leanne Salter for Parksville Qualicum

Leanne SalterThe Parksville Qualicum NDP Constituency Association has selected Leanne Salter as their candidate for the May 12, 2009 provincial election. The Parksville Qualicum constituency includes a large portion of North Nanaimo. Leonard Krog will be the NDP candidate in the Nanaimo riding.

Leanne Salter, a long-time resident of Errington, has worked for many years in social services for the BC government, and currently serves as a liaison on drug and alcohol addictions. In her acceptance speech, Salter described how her experience led to her concerns about recent "destruction of the social infrastructure" and the privatization of Crown corporations and of medical services. Selling off BC's assets to private interests has undermined the government's capacity to provide services to its citizens, Salter said. Salter stated "advocacy is the essence of public service" and promised to serve as an advocate for her constituency.

Over 50 people attending the February 15 nomination meeting in Parksville also listened to NDP transport critic Maurine Karagianis, who outlined the commuter rail potential of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo railway as a green transport alternative supported by Vancouver Island communities. Karagianis said the BC government's lack of support for upgrading the E and N shows it has little interest in green transportation, instead focusing on mega projects in the lower mainland. MLAs Scott Fraser and Leonard Krog also addressed issues the NDP will raise throughout the election campaign; privatization of BC Hydro and BC Ferries, lack of action on health care and senior care, and policies that favour fish farming over sustainable fisheries. Federal NDP candidate Zeni Maartman outlined the current political situation in Ottawa and its potential impact on British Columbia.

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