Ronna-Rae Leonard, a three term Courtenay councillor, is seeking the NDP nomination in the new federal riding of Courtenay-Alberni.
Courtenay, along with Cumberland and the southern Comox Valley, will be part of the new riding for the 2015 federal election.
“Representing this riding is a natural fit,” said Leonard. “My husband and I have lived here since 1990 and raised our two children here.”
Leonard ran in the 2011 federal election as the NDP candidate in Vancouver Island North, garnering the most NDP votes ever. A close vote resulted in the election of Conservative John Duncan, but a robocall court challenge cast a shadow over the result, with Vancouver Island North citizens coming forward with accounts of voter interference.
Following the 2011 federal election, Leonard was elected as a Courtenay councillor for a third term.
“I am grateful for the support I have received,” said Leonard, who plans to complete her term as councillor. “It’s been a great privilege to serve the citizens of Courtenay at City Hall for the last nine years. It tells me that the progressive voice here is strong.”
Leonard’s background is diverse: working with families and seniors; at the ombudsman’s office; as an environmental researcher, educator and project manager; and includes decades of community activism. She has taken on leadership roles, like chairing the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board, and spearheading regional task forces for cycling and housing.
In seeking the NDP nomination, Leonard says she is responding to the alarm she hears growing over the Conservative’s dismantling of all that makes us proud to be Canadian.
“We have witnessed an overwhelming trashing of environmental protection and an appalling lack of leadership on climate change; growing child poverty and lack of affordable housing,” she said. “There is an Orwellian assault on our rights and freedoms; and escalating insecurity and cost to Canadians from privatization. There isn’t a single corner of Canada that hasn’t been attacked by the Conservatives.
“We, each and every one of us, have an opportunity to work together in 2015 to help shape Canada’s future for the better.”
Leonard urges people to join the NDP by Sept. 19, in time to vote for her as the candidate to lead the change in Courtenay-Alberni. Her website is at www.ronnaraeleonard.ca.