B.C. NDP candidate for Kamloops-North Thompson, Kathy Kendall, recently made her second stop into the community of Barriere in just over a month. Previously she had been “doing some door knocking” with area resident Mike Fennell, and last Friday she was back to speak with area voters at a meet and greet at Mel and Thelma Schmidt’s home, and then it was back to knocking on doors within the community with four or five people assisting.
Kendall says going door to door, “Gives people another opportunity to meet me and discuss what concerns they may have and what issues are important to them.”
Asked what issues residents within this area have close to their hearts, Kendall noted, “Most people just say that it is time for a change, and others say they are just not happy with the BC Liberals performance.”
“Some people will always vote NDP, some will always vote for whatever the right wing party of the day is; but a lot of people are now looking at what the NDP has to offer.”
What does Kendall see as the main issues in the North Thompson? “Jobs and the economy,” said Kendall, “I’ve talked to people in Vavenby about the Yellowhead Mine, and I’ve talked to some environmentalists. One issue that I have is the height of the tailings pond…. I want to see an aggressive environmental review.”
She notes that if the “environmental process is vigorous and comprehensive”, and “the mine passes”, she would be in favour of the mine going ahead.
Asked what her thoughts would be on trying to access more power for the NT Valley, Kendall said that is she is elected that is something she would push for.
Kendall said a recent report by B.C.’s Health Officers Council has concluded that people who live in less populated areas live fewer years than those who live where there is denser populations. The report attributes this to the fact that those who live longer have higher levels of education, jobs, income, food, housing, leisure activity and early childhood programs available to them.
Kendall says this report shows that many who live in rural areas have to fight poverty and child poverty. She says this is an issue “so close to my heart”.
“Many people can’t afford to live in the city,” said Kendall, “The closing of schools, and court houses and all kinds of other facilities does not help. When you close schools you’re really striking at the heart of the community.”
She noted she was “very pleased” with the NDP platform, announced on Friday, on how to stop the growth of inequality, by committing to a $210 million dollar commitment for a Family Bonus Program to lift children out of poverty and invest in education and early childhood education.
“I really think as we release the NDP platform that British Columbians are seeing they really do have a clear choice. To me this election is about choice and priorities. Families really are a priority.. opportunities for families. Addressing inequality.”
Kendall says she has an extensive background in Legal Aid, is a Legal Aid Lawyer, and works with numerous low income families. “I advocate for people individually so they can deal with their legal problems, so they can move on with their lives. The platform of the NDP is just so realistic to what we want to do for British Columbia,” said Kendall, “If that person does better, we all do better; and if that child gets a better education we all benefit from that.”
Asked what prompted her to take on the candidacy for the Kamloops-North Thompson Riding, Kendall replied, “Every morning I wake up to my radio, and I wake up to the news,” She says that when she heard on the radio one day what was being said by a politician, “I thought “We’ve just got to do better than this. We’ve got to do better for British Columbians than this”.”
Kendall says representing the people is about trying to make a difference. “It’s so interesting and such an honour to run in the Kamloops-North Thompson riding. The constituency is beautiful, and the people are thoughtful and approachable. To have that mix of urban and rural is fascinating and challenging as well.”
Kendall also visited Clearwater on April 15, Vavenby and Little Fort April 14, Avola and Blue River April 20, and returned to Clearwater April 21.
BC NDP candidate Kathy Kendall will be in attendance at the upcoming Kamloops-North Thompson All Candidates Forum to be held in Barriere on Friday, May 3, 7 p.m., at the North Thompson Fall Fair Hall, 677 Barriere Lakes Road.