North Island-Powell River candidates make pitches to voters

The Peak asked each candidate running in the North Island-Powell River riding for this year’s federal election to submit a 200-word pitch explaining why they think residents should cast a vote for them. In alphabetical order of the candidates’ last names, what they wrote is below.

Powell River Chamber of Commerce will host a Federal All-Candidates Forum, including a question and answer period, from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, October 9, in Evergreen Theatre at Powell River Recreation Complex. All candidates have confirmed that they will attend.

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Election day is Monday, October 21.

Rachel Blaney, NDP

I believe I am the right person for this job. I enjoy spending time in our communities and learning from each and every one of you. I understand that issues are not black and white, and my job is to be available in the good times and bad. I have voted in ways that made some people happy and others angry but I consulted with people on either side and created opportunities to develop solutions in our communities.

I am pleasantly persistent in pushing ministers to hear the needs of our riding and am proud of our achievements. For nine years before I was elected, the riding was receiving, on average, $2 million/year in infrastructure funding. Since 2016, our riding has received, on average, over $12 million/year in infrastructure. This is due to the hard work of municipal, Indigenous and regional districts and my office’s ability to work with them.

I have fought hard for resources for local solutions to battle climate change, for seniors to be respected as they age, for Canadian veterans to receive the services they need and to support Indigenous communities to oversee the care of their own children.


Mark de Bruijn, Green Party

It is no exaggeration to say that climate change is threatening the future of human civilization and the survivability of millions of species. Our coastal communities are under stress. We bear much of the brunt of climate change, which is being exacerbated by resource depletion, population growth and changing economies. 

Greens are a different kind of party. We are dedicated to finding a way through challenges. Our detailed platform is fully costed and has been approved by the Parliamentary Budget Office, with a wide range of creative policies, initiatives and sustainable solutions.

The Green Party works collaboratively with all parties and levels of government. We are science-based, principled and value integrity, dignity and respect. We don’t make promises we cannot keep. We don’t tell our MPs how to vote, so they are free to represent their constituents. We share these values with Greens around the world. 

As your Green MP, I am free to fully represent you. I commit to working hard for the resources and initiatives we in North Island-Powell River need.

I dedicate myself to working alongside our leader, Elizabeth May, in spearheading a rapid move off fossil fuels to a prosperous, green economy.


Shelley Downey, Conservative Party

Canada deserves better. We have been underserved by our current government. We have lost credibility on the world stage in terms of foreign affairs. Our sovereignty in the Arctic is being challenged. Immigrants who have entered Canada legally have family members being delayed in joining them as illegal border crossers cause backlogs and delays for the entire refugee system.

Taxes have increased for 80 per cent of Canada’s middle class. Poor management of fisheries is affecting livelihoods all across the riding. Four years of deficits during a time of no wars or recession is irresponsible and increasing the debt of our nation.

In January, while brainstorming with family about the major issues for this upcoming election, my son cut the conversation short and said: “It’s about the economy. I have a good job and should be able to support my family. Instead, my taxes have increased along with the cost of living. We are being squeezed at both ends.” Since then, I have heard those same sentiments across the riding and from every demographic.

Governance is a responsibility to allocate resources and provide services for the betterment of our citizens and country as a whole. We can do better.


Brian Rundle, People’s Party

I want to represent the constituents of this riding so that their concerns are addressed by the federal government. I feel this riding has been ignored and neglected over the past four years. I also feel that Canada is at a crossroads where if the federal government continues to pursue a globalist UN-based agenda that Canadians will suffer, our culture, values and history disrespected and that some provinces could try to separate.

The People's Party will lower taxes, reduce government size and cost, and unify this country so that provinces will work and trade with each other in creating a booming economy. We will implement a range of positive economic reforms described in our party's platform that will give BC a lot more financial resources than they get now.

All of the other parties have embraced the narrative that man-made climate change has created a climate emergency. This is a false narrative that comes from the United Nations, which now has an agenda of wealth transfer and destruction of industrialized economies to facilitate their agenda of eliminating national sovereignty. Please do your own research on this issue and don’t just listen to the government-funded sources.


Peter Schwarzhoff, Liberal Party

I was the third generation in my family to work in the paper mill. I was able to attend university debt-free. I raised two boys. I paid off my mortgage. I live in a stunning natural environment. I’ve spent my adult life in public service and I want to continue to help everyone in our community to have the same opportunities that I’ve enjoyed.

As an Environment Canada scientist “gagged” by Stephen Harper, you can count on me to champion serious action on climate change, but there is so much else to do. The Liberal party is determined to make life more affordable for the average family, and so am I.

The Canada Child Benefit, improved OAS and GIS for seniors, pharmacare, affordable housing initiatives, lower cell charges and much more all to help cope with the high cost of living.

By joining the Liberal team in Ottawa I will be able to push for real action on climate change from within the only party with both the will and the capacity to get the job done.

Being part of government will enable me to champion for the investments we need here in our community.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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