Four-term Parksville city councillor Sue Powell will run for nomination for the New Democrat Party.
“This comes from past frustrations in not being able to deal with major issues like homelessness and affordable housing at a local level,” Powell said.
She said many people have encouraged her to move from municipal to provincial politics and she feels now is the time.
“As a city councillor, I am unable to effectively deal with issues at the community level when they involve higher levels of government,” she said.
Powell is the first to publicly announce her intention to seek the NDP nomination in the Parksville-Qualicum constituency.
With a background in social work, Powell said she is able to listen, reach out and connect with a wide range of people and she is already endorsed by fellow councillor Mary Beil and Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre.
“I have known Sue Powell and worked with her for over ten years,” Lefebvre said.
“She is a caring, hard- working person who possesses integrity, honesty and respect for others along with the ability to get things things done. When it comes to making decisions, she is well informed on the subject and decisive.”
In a news release she said she has spent years, “working on problems her constituents face with the rising cost of living and the effects that has on people trying to get an education and make a living in this region,” and she hopes to have more impact at the provincial level.
“Sue Powell is clear minded, fair minded and strong minded,” Beil said. “She connects with and understands the needs of a wide variety of residents, and she understands the roles of the various government levels.”
Powell has been popular with Parksville residents, earning the most votes of any candidate in the past two municipal elections.
Powell said she has worked closely with the business community, water service boards and on the homelessness task force.
She will remain on council and “if necessary when I am campaigning take a leave.”
She said if she is elected she will continue to attend council meetings until 2018, saving the city from having to hold a second byelection.
The provincial election is on May 9, 2017.