Members of the New Democratic Party in the newly formed riding of North Island Powell River have elected Rachel A. Blaney of Campbell River to be their candidate for the 2015 federal election.
Blaney is currently the executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre, a not-for-profit organization that provides services for new Canadians, with offices in Campbell River and Courtenay. She has extensive experience working with all levels of government and is an active member of local committees on food security, community development, social planning and health. Holding a degree in First Nations and Women’s Studies, Blaney has lived in the Campbell River area for 16 years. She is married to Darren Blaney of the Homolca First Nation and has three children and two grandchildren.
Challenging Blaney for the nomination was Dave Coles, also of Campbell River.
During the nomination meeting held Nov. 22 in Campbell River, a number of past and present NDP leaders spoke on Blaney’s behalf.
“Now more than ever we need someone like Rachel who has lived the island/coastal experience and who knows the real possibilities that lie before us,” said MLA Nicolas Simons from Powell River.
“Rachel is a young, articulate and passionate voice on the important issues we face in our riding,” added former MLA and cabinet minister Colin Gabelmann.
Over 500 members cast ballots in the hard-fought contest. Blaney can be contacted through the North Island Powell River NDP Riding Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Box 3323, Courtenay, B.C., V9N 1G0.