Former Courtenay city councillor Ronna-Rae Leonard is entering the NDP nomination race in Courtenay-Comox.
“We have to win constituencies like Courtenay-Comox in order to defeat Christy Clark and elect a John Horgan NDP government in BC,” said Leonard.
“I’ve got the energy, the passion and the experience to win this seat for the NDP.”
Comox town councillor Barbara Price was quick to throw her support behind Leonard.
“I have long admired Ronna-Rae for her hard work, tenacity, and her ability to bring fresh ideas and new approaches to the table,” said Price. “She will be a determined advocate for all people.”
Leonard ran for the federal NDP in Vancouver Island North during the 2011 federal election, earning the most NDP votes recorded to date and nearly unseating John Duncan, the Conservative MP in that election.
After serving three terms as a Courtenay councillor between 2005 and 2014, Leonard chose not to seek re-election so she could again explore political service beyond local government and pursue her research interests.
While a city councillor, she chaired the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board, and spearheaded the formation of the Comox Valley Housing Task Force and the Cycling Task Force.
She also served as commissioner on both the Regional Water Supply Strategy Commission and the Regional Sewage Commission and was twice elected to the board of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.
Leonard’s background is diverse. Beyond her decades of community activism, she has worked with at-risk families and seniors in their homes, at the Ombudsman’s Office, and as a researcher, public educator, and project manager for environmental protection organizations in the Comox Valley.
Leonard said she is inspired by the lives of some of her NDP heroes, including Rosemary Brown, the first black woman ever elected to a Canadian legislature. Her campaign is planning events to stir up hope and confidence in a win for the BCNDP and the people of British Columbia.
“An incredible and long-lasting NDP legacy still endures, but it is being eroding every day under Christy Clark,” said Leonard. “It’s time to recall our accomplishments and work to build a better future for all citizens from our solid foundation.”
Leonard and her husband, Ron Eby, have lived in the Comox Valley for 26 years, where they raised their two children.