Reminder- Mail ballots must be received by Friday, Feb. 25

NOMINATION CANDIDATES

SHIRLEY ACKLAND

Hello! My name is Shirley Ackland

Born in Burnaby to a working family, I have lived on the North Island for 32 years. My parents emigrated from Britain to ensure their daughters had access to post secondary education and a bright future in British Columbia, Canada.

While raising my two young children in Port McNeill, I completed my undergraduate degree by distance. I also completed a Provincial Instructor’s diploma and a variety of courses in Adult Education. Once my children had entered the public school system, I began working as an instructor for North Island College. Through my work at North Island College I have had the privilege of assisting students – many of them working moms, single parents, and forest/fishery workers – to achieve their educational goals by accessing a public, community-based college. It has been very rewarding to watch students enter North Island College and gain the skills necessary to be nurses in our hospitals, care providers in our extended health facilities, teachers’ aides in our schools, and office assistants in businesses and organizations throughout the North Island.
Throughout the 22 years I have worked at North Island College, I have also been very active within the faculty association (NICFA). I was elected and have acted as Chief Steward for ten years and have also been the faculty association president for two years. My work as a member of the faculty association executive has allowed me to advocate for our members negotiating contracts, resolving grievances, finding accommodation for injured members, and generally responding to all concerns that faculty have.

In 2008, I chose to run for municipal office in Port McNeill and was elected as a councillor in November of that year. The portfolios that I am responsible for include:
• Mount Waddington Regional Health Network (steering committee)
• Post Secondary Education
• Family Centre
• Provincial Emergency Preparedness program
• Mount Waddington Transit committee (Chair)
• Community Forest committee (working towards obtaining a cf licence for PA/PH/PMC
• C2C committee – working with a variety of 1St Nations communities – one goal achieved is a protocol agreement between the regional district and 1st Nations

Politically, I have been a social democrat as long as I can remember. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic to advocate for community to help to improve the lives of all.

When I moved to the North Island I actively participated as a scrutineer for Karen Sanford, Ray Skelly, Colin Gablemann, Catherine Bell and Claire Trevena. In Claire Trevena’s first term of office, I served as the Vice President of the North Island Constituency Association.

I am a practical-minded, compassionate, solutions-oriented person. Much of my career has been focused on solving problems – creating win-win situations wherever possible. I am not afraid of hard work and rolling up my sleeves to get the job done.

As a candidate for Vancouver Island North I would bring a vast array of skills and experiences – both political and social – to the position. I believe my connectedness throughout the community of the North Island and further, into the Comox Valley gives me the exposure to regain this riding for New Democrats.
With a strong voice in Ottawa, I believe we can ensure a bright future for all North Islanders.

ERIK ERIKSSON

Erik Eriksson says Canadians have long since lost respect for the political process, and he wants the chance to try to restore people’s faith in democracy. “I believe my totally positive nature and my ability to work with opponents will aid in that process,” he says.

Eriksson served two years on Courtenay City Council, and while that may be a short time he adds: “I believe I can favourably stack my record of accomplishment during my term of office against that of any other councillor.”

Since then he has served as a director of the Comox Valley Food Bank, Comox Valley Economic Development Society and Comox Valley Community Foundation. He is a keen musician, entertaining regularly at venues from the soup kitchen to the seniors village. He is also a baseball umpire and competes in softball and basketball.

Eriksson, who earlier lived in various parts of the Riding including Campbell River and Tahsis, is married to Beverley and they have three children.

Politically, he said his priority was to return manufacturing jobs to Canada and restore taxation to the levels they were before the Conservatives cut them.

RONNA- RAE LEONARD

After five years of being confronted constantly by the federal offloading of critical services without financial support, Ronna-Rae Leonard is ready to apply the skills she’s learned at the local government level to the job of federal Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North.

Ronna-Rae Leonard is in her second term as a Courtenay City Councillor.

Her interest in the environment and social justice have lead her to help form and chair the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force and is also now chairing the Housing and Homelessness Standing Committee of the Comox Valley Regional District.

With five years on the executive, she is now elected to the chair of the Vancouver Island Regional Library, which serves the federal riding of Vancouver Island North and beyond.

Leonard also sits on the executive, elected as the most northerly Director on the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.

Leonard has worked for a better future wherever she’s lived and has served her community on many boards and committees prior to her election to local government.

Ronna-Rae has been employed with environmental non-government organizations as a public educator, researcher and project coordinator covering septic system education, innovative greywater and community sewage solutions, water conservation, alternative stormwater management, invasive species control and salmon enhancement project.

She has an Associate Arts Degree from Capilano College, trained as a legal assistant and worked for the BC Ombudsman.

Prior to that, she worked with families at risk and seniors in their homes.

She and her husband, Ron, moved to the Comox Valley in 1990 and have raised two fine children here on Vancouver Island.

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