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Dycke to represent Comox Valley NDP after earning nomination

NEWLY MINTED NDP candidate Kassandra Dycke is congratulated by 25-year school trustee Danny White and community volunteer Ed Bodner following a Sunday vote. - Jamie Bowman
NEWLY MINTED NDP candidate Kassandra Dycke is congratulated by 25-year school trustee Danny White and community volunteer Ed Bodner following a Sunday vote.
— image credit: Jamie Bowman

The newly chosen NDP candidate in the coming provincial election is promising to “to make every day between now and then count for people in the Comox Valley.”

A comfortable majority of the standing-room-only crowd of NDP members meeting Sunday afternoon in the Filberg Centre marked Dycke’s name on the secret ballot, over retired teacher Kathryn Askew, saving Liberal MLA Don McRae from facing his former elementary school teacher in the BC election, slated for 2013.

After the vote was announced, Dycke told the members she considers it “a great privilege” to be chosen by them.

She said her top priority in the coming months is “to make sure that I take every opportunity to meet with our neighbours in the Valley and talk about what needs to be done to make life better.

“Everyone in our community holds a piece of that puzzle. In building a solid plan, it’s so important that we talk together and share our perspectives.”

Askew congratulated Dycke onstage, following that with a warm embrace. She called Dycke’s success “a fine win” and promised her support.

"I commit to working with you with the goal of electing you as our next MLA,” she said.

Dycke acknowledged that her background in business and her current work with military families is not what most people expect when they think of the NDP.

“I am looking forward to breaking a lot of those old stereotypes,” she said. “Jack Layton got the ball rolling for us.

"Times are changing. Politics is changing. It starts with finding those basic common values that we all share, and then, as a community, finding the best way forward, that leaves no one behind, to a bright and hopeful future.”

A longtime education advocate, Dycke said she is excited about joining the Adrian Dix team and happy to get behind the party’s petition on student loans.

“Average student debt in B.C. has ballooned to over $27,000, while interest rates on B.C. student loans are the highest in Canada,” she said.

“With Christy Clark deciding to follow the election law and not have an election until 2013, we need to pressure the Liberals to eliminate interest on B.C. student loans and increase funding for student grants.”

Years of Liberal arrogance and neglect have left many such problems for ordinary people in B.C., she said.

“There is so much to be done,” said Dycke. “The people of B.C. deserve so much more.”

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