Bell steps down from federal race

NDP set to select a new candidate in Vancouver Island North

Former NDP MP Catherine Bell has decided not to run as a candidate in the next federal election, opening the door for the New Democrats to nominate a new candidate for Vancouver Island North.

“I am convinced the New Democrats can and will win back Vancouver Island North in the next election, but it’s going to be a close race,” said Bell. “As the new owner of a thriving small business, I find that I am unable to commit the time and resources required for a successful campaign. Therefore I’ve decided to step out of politics and open the door for a new candidate and new energy.”

The NDP riding association has already embarked on a candidate search, and will announce details of a nomination meeting shortly. Bell said she will fully support the successful candidate.

“People in Vancouver Island North feel very let down by the Harper Conservatives. They worked with Gordon Campbell to bring in the HST, they’ve broken their promise and appointed more partisan senators than any other government, and they care more about big banks and corporations than ordinary families,” she said.

“Jack Layton and the NDP are offering a positive alternative and I will do everything I can to help election a New Democrat MP in this riding.”

Bell has run for the federal NDP in Vancouver North three times, and served as MP from 2006 to 2008.

“It has been a real honour to serve the people of Vancouver Island North,” she said. “But it’s time for me to move on to new challenges and make way for a new candidate.”

Bell became the owner/operator of Zocalo Cafe in downtown Courtenay last summer. “I love this new occupation, but it takes a great deal of time and energy,” she said.

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