Injured but motivated Basso does marathon across the Boundary

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
May 29th, 2012

After completing a four day cross constituency marathon New Democratic Party candidate Marji Basso stepped out at a fundraising reception in Grand Forks alongside party leader Adrian Dix.

Plagued by a calf muscle injury, Basso completed the marathon-level tour in what Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor called “good old fashioned politics” in the style of Tommy Douglas.

“I call myself the 18-month maid-in-waiting,” joked Basso, full-time teacher and past city councillor for Oliver, about the wait for an election call for B.C.. “It’s been good for me to come out and get to know the area. The Boundary faces bigger issues than the South Okanagan and I need to hear first hand what you need.”

Called her Get Motivated tour, Basso’s crossing of the Boundary-Similkameen constituency culminated with a wine and cheese reception at Gallery 2 Saturday night, May 26. The run and bike covering 160 kilometers a day across the two regions was her way of drawing attention to the challenges of such a diverse riding, and to garner interest in her candidacy as a politician who understands. The trek started in Kaleden and ended in Grand Forks.

Dix, who joined Basso for 10 kilometers of the run, energized the 100 person crowd and appealed to people to give the NDP a mandate for change. Dix touched on four key points that he’s sees as failures for the current government – development of skills and training, ensuring provincial services (ie: Interior Health) to use B.C. products in their processes, encouraging youth participation and tagging the carbon tax.

“Everybody in this room pays carbon taxes,” Dix commented. “I have access (to transit). People in other communities don’t have that same access. In 2008 the government brought in a carbon tax to our province. Not a penny of that carbon tax comes out to these communities. We need to roll it back and use the money to support communities.”

Ultimately the evening was a rallying call for NDP supporters.

“The NDP needs candidates who represent their constituents,” said Dix. “We elect people to represent communities. Marji will re-connect and make sure your voice is heard.”

Along with party leader Dix, MLAs Katrina Conroy, Harry Lali, and Spencer Chandra Herbert as well as federal MP Alex Atamanenko came out, not just to the reception, but to run alongside Basso as she entered the last kilometers of the tour.

“Now is a good time to unite and get off the fence to put a check on some of what is happening at the federal level,” said Atamanenko. “We have the chance to get the province back on track. People are concerned federally too. It’s a good time to elect the NDP in B.C. to slow down the progress (at the federal level).”

Other dignitaries at the event included regional district of Kootenay Boundary directors Grace McGregor and Irene Perepolkin, Greenwood councillor Barry Noll and Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor.

Basso’s family was also on hand to support her through throughout her adventure.

Watch the video to get a taste of the evening’s events.

Categories: GeneralPolitics