Port Alberni city councillor Helen Poon will be the BC Liberal candidate for Mid Island-Pacific Rim in the next provincial election.
The BC Liberals made the official announcement in a press release on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Poon was driven to the community of Port Alberni from Vancouver by an opportunity to purchase and revitalize the historic Kingsway Hotel and Pub. With a vision for economic renewal and diversification in her adopted community, Poon was elected to city council in 2018.
“The communities of Mid Island-Pacific Rim need an MLA who will work hard to supplement foundational industries like forestry with expanded economic development opportunities that create good-paying, family-supporting jobs,” said Poon in a press release. “As a small business owner directly impacted by COVID-19, I’m excited to work with Andrew Wilkinson and the renewed BC Liberal team to lead our recovery from the pandemic and deliver opportunity for all of B.C..”
Born and raised in Vancouver, Poon obtained a law degree at SOAS University of London in England. She then pursued her passion for serving the most vulnerable by helping to develop affordable housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She also founded Barnsbury Capital, an organization dedicated to providing housing options free of discrimination for members of the LGBTQ+ community in partnership with refugee and immigrant organizations.
Since choosing Port Alberni as her home, Poon has been involved in fundraising efforts for the Alberni Valley Hospice Society and is a former board member of the Literacy Alberni Society and the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley. She also supports the Port Alberni overdose prevention Community Action Team, promoting education on mental health and addictions.
Poon was also elected by her local government representatives throughout B.C. as a director-at-large on the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) executive in 2019.
“Stellar candidates like Helen are driving the rapid renewal of the BC Liberals at a time of unprecedented change and challenge,” said Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal leader, in a press release. “As we work to lead BC’s comeback from COVID-19, strong community builders like Helen will help us form a government that truly understands and serves all British Columbians.”
B.C.’s next provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 16, 2021 but could take place earlier if the NDP government decides to trigger an election. Poon will have to take a leave of absence from her city council duties during the official campaign period.