Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberal Party candidate for Parksville-Qualicum. (PQB News file photo)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidate Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberal Party

Election day in B.C. is Oct. 24

The PQB News will be running candidate submissions for every candidate running in the Parksville-Qualicum riding. The following is the submission filed by B.C. Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell.

I have served as the MLA since 2013 helping to deliver much-needed provincial investments in infrastructure, community services, and local business in our growing Parksville-Qualicum riding.

My approach to politics has been shaped by my life experiences as a Paralympic athlete, a mother to a child on the autism spectrum, a small business owner and a community advocate. I have overcome challenges in my own life that have taught me perseverance, grit, and determination, but also empathy.

Prior to entering public service, much of my energy was focused on elite sport, competing for Canada at multiple Paralympic and World Championships while being an active community advocate for persons with disabilities and children with special needs. I worked on the 10×10 challenge to increase employment for persons with disabilities, was a Rick Hansen ambassador and sat on many boards.

Politics was an opportunity for me to continue to use my voice to help make a difference.

When first elected in 2013, I was appointed as Government Caucus Chair and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors before becoming a Cabinet Minister. I sat on the Treasury Board, Health committee, cabinet committee on Secure Tomorrow, Legislative Assembly Management Committee and Finance Audit Committee.

In 2017, I was re-elected and served as Opposition Critic for Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport, Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, and a member of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act.

Over the past two-terms, I have been very proud to represent our mid-Island communities and bring government investment here, including for Vancouver Island University, the Oceanside Health Centre, Eden Gardens and affordable housing. It was also an honour to advocate on behalf of constituents, help with different concerns and make sure residents’ voices were heard by the government.

READ MORE: Complete election coverage here

I am seeking re-election so I can continue to put my experience to work for our communities. As we come together to address the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic, I believe the BC Liberal team has the best plan to restore confidence and rebuild B.C. I am committed to ensuring that our growing community provides economic opportunities and a safe place to raise a family.

Politics is about making life better for your constituents. This means not just understanding what the needs are, but also knowing how to deliver through meaningful action. This is what I have done even before being elected in 2013. Through my advocacy work, I’ve been able to gain valuable experience working with local, national, and international organizations. I’ve learned how to work across party lines, with people from all walks of life.

It has been a privilege to represent you and I hope on Oct. 24 you send me back to Victoria so I can continue to put my experience to work helping our communities.

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