September 01, 2015 - 6:30 PM
VERNON - More than 300 locals at an NDP rally in Vernon today welcomed a special guest: the party’s national leader or, in their words, the next prime minister.
The optimistic crowd gathered outside North Okanagan-Shuswap NDP candidate Jacqui Gingras’ 30 Avenue campaign office Tuesday afternoon to welcome Tom Mulcair. The party leader has been making his rounds in the Thompson-Okanagan this week with visits to Penticton, Kelowna and Kamloops.
Mulcair took time during his speech to remind supporters of several key aspects of his campaign, including $15 a day childcare and $15 minimum wage. He also pledged to restore funding for tourism and wildfire management training.
Asked by the media how the NDP plans on taking the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding — a well known Conservative safe seat — Mulcair said there’s nothing he loves more than winning another party’s stronghold.
Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis and Splatsin Chief Kukpi7 Wunuxtsin Wayne Christian both attended the rally but stated they were not endorsing the NDP.
“I don’t have the authority to do that on behalf of my people,” Louis said.
The chiefs said they attended to ensure First Nations issues are not ignored during the election. Both will be focusing on getting members registered and informed on the voting process.
Questioned by a local elder about missing and murdered aboriginal women, Mulcair said he is committed to holding a Royal inquiry. Mulcair also promised $40 million to build and upgrade women’s shelters across the country.
Mulcair also made a point of mentioning the environment, and called the Conservative government’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Accord ‘shameful.’
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015