Norm Macdonald / NDP – Columbia River-Revelstoke
Norm Macondald’s answers to e-KNOW questions:
1Q. Please provide a brief history of yourself – recent work experience (career), accomplishments and other things important to you as an individual.
A. I have served as MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke for the past eight years. Prior to that I served as a member of Golden’s town council as well as the Mayor in Golden. I am also a former teacher and elementary school principal. I worked mainly in Golden but also spent six years in Africa. I am married with two daughters.
2Q. Why are you a NDP?
A. I am a member of the NDP because it serves the interests of ordinary British Columbians. Rather than playing to the privileged and powerful, the NDP looks after children, seniors and those that are sick or fall into poverty. I am an avid hiker who, like many in the Columbia Valley, values the land we live on and in. The NDP cares about nature and the environment.
3Q. In one sentence, please describe your political philosophy.
A. Government should serve everyone equally; everyone deserves a fair chance.
4Q. What are the four most important issues facing your riding? (Please rank one to four in importance)
A. 1) We need to strengthen our economy.
2) We need to protect our communities’ healthcare services.
3) We need to strengthen our education system and expand skills training opportunities.
4) We need to be able to make land use decisions locally and have a government committed to investing in our forests. Communities do not want control of their rivers given away to private river diversion companies. They do not want their land given away, like the 6,000 hectares in the Jumbo Valley given to BC Liberal insiders, to create private resort municipalities.
5Q. What can/will you do about those issues if you are elected?
A. 1. Economy – Government must provide stable and predictable conditions for business — no HST surprises. Government must also competently provide services so communities are healthy. As well, government needs to make sure people have the skills to suit jobs that are in demand. The NDP will improve and expand skilled trades training and make no increases to small business taxes. The NDP has clearly laid out what we will do and how we will pay for it.
2) Healthcare – Rural communities must have the capacity to allow seniors to stay in our communities, provide emergency services and care for chronic conditions as much as possible. The NDP has clear commitments to strengthen rural health care and to broaden home support programs.
3) Education – We must strengthen our K- 12 system. The NDP commitment to add $100 million for additional special education teachers, I feel, is a significant first step. As well, the NDP is committing funds to help students with the cost of post secondary education and will make changes to significantly reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of trades training.
4) Public lands are incredibly important to everyone that lives in British Columbia, especially those in rural areas like the East Kootenay. The NDP fully supports community-based land use decision-making. Residents need and deserve a say in what happens in the backcountry. An NDP government will keep rivers publicly controlled and dismantle the fake resort municipality, located in the Jumbo Valley, which gave 6,000 hectares of public land to a group of BC Liberal insiders.
6Q. If you could wave a magic wand, what single thing would you like to make happen for your riding?
A. Although it would be the most challenging, I believe the most significant feat would be a major investment for improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway.
7Q. Let’s say you get elected…who/what do you represent first – your riding’s best interests or your party’s?
A. Over the last eight years I have shown that the most important obligation as MLA is to keep faith with those who they represent. In reality, this is much easier as an opposition party member. However, as the NDP gets ready to form government I have been very active in platform preparation to make sure our community priorities are in the NDP platform and to make absolutely sure I have honestly laid out what an NDP government will do and how it will be paid for.
8Q. What has been your biggest ‘ah ha’ moment during this campaign?
A. I am reminded how fortunate we are to be able to choose our government. I spent six years working in Africa and I would never take democratic choice for granted.
9Q. Project forward 20 years – how is your riding doing economically and socially – based on current trends and how your government (if your party is elected) will conduct itself?
A. I believe there are few places in the world that have the opportunities that we have here. There are two priorities. As rural British Columbians we need to control our ability to make our own decisions and we need to look after our land and water. If we can do that, we all win.
10Q. One final comment… Please use this space to make a final statement to voters. Anything you want.
A. I have worked hard for the people I represent, and I have consistently put forward our interests and values while in opposition. I now look forward to the opportunity to be in the heart of a new government that shares our priorities.
These questions were answered by Columbia River-Revelstoke NDP candidate Norm Macdonald.