Bev Collins believes the Cariboo-Prince George riding needs a stronger voice in Ottawa.
And that voice would be an NDP one.
Collins was nominated by acclamation at a riding association meeting Saturday at the Native Friendship Centre in Quesnel.
“We have to change the direction where [Stephen] Harper’s Conservatives are taking us,” she told the crowd of 37 after accepting the nomination.
“We need to put an NDP member in place and I look forward to debating Dick Harris in this campaign. I feel hopeful and confident…it’s time the NDP goes to Ottawa on your behalf.”
The crowd, that included 31 registered party members, gave her a standing ovation.
Collins was swayed to join the federal NDP in time for the Oct. 14 federal election after running in the last four as a candidate for the Canadian Action Party. A resident of Prince George, she is currently an employment coach-facilitators for M. Turner & Associates and is a director of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.
While she is a staunch supporter of CAP, she realized her chances of winning a seat in federal parliament were better with the NDP.
After talking to both riding members and Peter Julian, the NDP’s international trade critic from Burnaby-New Westminster, Collins’ questions about the party were answered in June.
“It’s so different, I have support coming from everywhere,” she told Black Press after the meeting.
“I’m making the right decision for the riding. I like our chances.”
She accused Harris of not listening to his constituents who are opposed to the Softwood Lumber Agreement, Canadian participation in Afghanistan and a riding where mills have shut down putting hundreds of forestry workers out of a job.
She also accused him on not bringing a single Bill forward and being absent six times from voting on six pieces of legislation.
“He’s not listening to his constituents…where was he when the [Fraser River] floods hit us and the [forest] fires? He has to understand what the issues are in the riding if he’s going to represent us.”
So far, Quesnel is the only community in Cariboo-Prince George where the NDP has opened a campaign office. Local NDP have set up shop in the Hoy House on the corner of Barlow Avenue and McLean Street in the downtown core.
In the next four weeks, she plans to travel around the riding and is excited about debating the opposition at election forums.
She believes the NDP is the right choice for voters in this riding.
“We will offer them a difference,” she said.
“We’ve worked very hard in our policy to only help small businesses, but farm workers and youth.
“Harper and Harris no longer listening to what average constituents want.”