NDP hopeful visits with local members in bid for provincial seat

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
June 16th, 2011

New Democratic Party (NDP) nominee hopeful Marji Basso visited Grand Forks last week to learn about the town’s challenges, meet voters and talk about farming, family and health care in her bid for the Boundary-Similkameen constituency.  Basso met with a small group of NDP members on Friday, Jun. 10 at the Grand Forks Public Library before doing a walking tour through town with Mayor Brian Taylor. She gave the group a glimpse into her platform for election before addressing questions from members about health care, agriculture, the harmonized sales tax, and proportional representation.  “I don’t want to say that each community is the same – it’s not a cookie-cutter approach. That’s why it’s really important for me to come out here and see what issues are similar, what issues are different and what are some of the things that need to be addressed at the provincial level.”  A teacher by profession, Basso has sat for two terms on Oliver city council bringing an understanding of local government challenges to her run for the provincial seat.  “I became somewhat flustered at some of the things we were trying to do as a municipality, for our families, working with school closures, working with infrastructure, working with health care – things that we couldn’t deal with at a municipal level other than lobbying. I felt maybe thisis the time when I could be that connection – working with communities where within our constituency that have similar issues.”  Basso touched on the funding shortages in education, health care crises for small regional hospitals, attracting doctors to regions, and challenges for agriculture for marketing of products at fair, sustainable prices including bringing back programs like Buy BC that encourages eating locally.  Basso will be back in town for a public debate on June 25 at an NDP fundraising event to be hosted at the Grand Forks Wildlife hall at 7 p.m. Lilly Zekanovic, from Oliver, was on hand to assist Basso on the tour. Darwin Benson organized the visit.  Along with Basso, Rhonda Bruce, also from the Okanagan, is running for the nomination in the area currently held by Liberal party MLA John Slater.  Links:  Marji Basso


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