After having spent the summer meeting with party faithfuls and residents of the Comox Valley and sharing ideas, Kassandra Dycke is throwing her hat in the ring in the race to be nominated as the provincial candidate for the Comox Valley NDP.
“The Comox Valley is an amazing place to be able to call home,” says Dycke, “and what makes it so amazing is the people. When it comes right down to it, as a community we are strongly united by our basic values and our vision for a better way forward for our kids and grandkids.”
Dycke vows to work hard to ensure value for the taxpayer’s dollar.
“I believe that people don’t mind paying taxes when in return they get the services and investments in their community that they need. Everyone benefits from access to good public healthcare and services for seniors, affordable green energy, increased job security and employment opportunities, accessible public transit networks, and high-quality education,” says Dycke, “The problem is, right now, despite paying more and more tax, people don’t feel they have any of these benefits, and they see their tax money being wasted on things like an outrageous $315,000 annual pension for BC Ferries CEO David Hahn.”
As a former teacher and advocate for schools, as well a small business person for more than a decade, Dycke places high importance on education to bring sustainable development to the Comox Valley.
“Progressive businesses, the kind of businesses we want in our community, invest where there is a skilled workforce. Our young people need more than a high school diploma to have real opportunities these days. They need loan-free access to post-secondary and trades education.
“And most importantly, we need them! These young folks are our future in the Valley and the time to invest is now.”
Concern that residents on the Comox Valley have been feeling disempowered and disconnected from the democratic process is one thing compelling Dycke to step forward.
“People are tired of being ignored. They want respect. They want an equal chance to participate.
“Most people are willing to agree to disagree, so long as they feel they have been really heard in the decision making process. If that was happening, we would be having an independent expert panel review and full public hearing on the Raven Coal Mine, a business under construction that is threatening our vitally important estuary would be compelled to relocate, and we wouldn’t have just wasted $8.9 million on a referendum on the HST.”
Dycke is employed as the deployment Services Coordinator at the Comox Military Family Services Centre, providing support to families dealing with the stresses and challenges of lengthy separations while members serve overseas. “I have a deep respect for our military families. Service is a concept that is profoundly meaningful for me. It is why I am running for this nomination. It is why community activism is my second full-time job. Service is the glue that holds all the wonderful and diverse facets of community together, and being part of it is an incredible privilege.”
The Comox Valley NDP will choose their candidate to represent them in the next provincial election Sept. 18 at the Filberg Centre.
To contact Dycke, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dycke, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination for the 2009 provincial election in the Comox Valley, where the seat was won by Liberal Don McRae, joins Kathryn Askew in seeking the NDP nomination this time.