NDP’s Mulcair visits Parksville

Parksville Qualicum Beach is in the new Courtenay-Alberni riding which includes Courtenay, Denman Hornby, Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair stopped in Parksville Tuesday to officially launch the campaign office of NDP candidate Gord Johns

NDP leader Tom Mulcair swept across Vancouver Island Tuesday, stopping in Parksville to officially launch fellow New Democrat Gord Johns’ campaign office on the Island Highway.

More than 200 people waving bright orange signs of support attended the event, where Mulcair promised $15/day childcare, a $15/hour federal minimum wage and “over arching sustainable development legislation” under an NDP government.

“Canadians will know basic principles like making polluters pay will be enforced in Canada,” Mulcair, flanked by NDP candidates from Island ridings, passionately told the crowd.

“We’ll bring in an evaluation system, an environmental assessment system worthy of the name because none of the projects being talked about right now like Kinder Morgan can be approved under Stephen Harper’s totally failed process… The system is flawed hopelessly.”

In 2013, federal electoral boundaries were redrawn, shifting Parksville Qualicum Beach into a new riding, known as Courtenay-Alberni which incorporates Courtenay, Baynes Sound, Denman and Hornby Islands, Cumberland, Port Alberni, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet.

Asked about the importance of swing ridings on Vancouver Island given the new boundaries, Mulcair said: “We couldn’t be prouder to have recruited someone like Gord Johns here… the only party that can defeat the Conservatives is the NDP.”

Earlier in the day, Mulcair stopped by Nanaimo where he vowed to invest more money in natural disaster prevention on the heels of one of the worst wildfire seasons B.C. has experienced in years, with a fire currently blazing through Rock Creek destroying dozens of homes.

He announced a three-point plan to assist provinces and territories in keeping Canadians safe from wildfires and floods.

Mulcair said the NDP will restore funding to the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program and for training programs previously provided by the Emergency Preparedness College. He said the NDP will also sit down with the provinces to strengthen the Disaster Financial Assistance Agreements to respond as disasters become more frequent.

“The NDP is taking action to ensure Canadians and their homes are safer with an effective and modern approach to coordinated disaster assistance,” said Mulcair.

The NDP leader headed from Parksville to Courtenay for a rally Tuesday evening. The Parksville NDP campaign headquarters on the Island Highway is situated right beside the office of Liberal candidate Carrie Powell-Davidson. The 2015 federal election is slated for Oct. 19.

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