The NDP has its declared candidate in Vernon-Monashee for the upcoming provincial election.
Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, won the nomination and says it is a natural extension of the work she currently does at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“When deciding to run, I had to ask myself, do I try to improve health care by working at the hospital or should I go to Victoria to join John Horgan’s government and work for better health care for all British Columbians?” Sandhu said.
“As a patient care coordinator in one of the COVID-19 wards at the hospital, I am well aware that the BC NDP government has earned top marks for how it handled the pandemic,” she said. “I’m eager to join the team to do my part.”
As part of her role as a regional lobby coordinator for the B.C. Nurses Union (BCNU), she has addressed a number of issues pertinent to health care, including patient safety and the safety of health-care workers, given the violence and trauma they are exposed to on a daily basis.
“Our local Liberal MLA Mr. (Eric) Foster was one of the few elected officials who couldn’t spare even 15 minutes of his time over the past four years to hear our concerns, despite the multiple calls and emails I sent as both a nurse and constituent,” Sandhu said.
No stranger to politics, Sandhu last ran for the NDP in the federal riding of North Okanagan-Shuswap where she finished third out of five.
She has a history here of community advocacy through the BCNU, with various charities such as the local food bank, Sock it to Poverty, Coldest Night of the Year, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Other issues that dominate her concerns are decent wages, the environment and especially clean water, climate change and support for small business.
“I know the John Horgan government that all along has listened to science, will continue to protect our province through COVID-19 and will look out for me and my family as the economy recovers.”
Sandhu joins incumbent Eric Foster of the Liberal Party as confirmed candidates for the provincial riding. Foster is seeking a fourth consecutive term as MLA.
Foster beat out Barry Dorval of the NDP, Keli Westgate of the Green Party and Libertarian Don Jefcoat in the 2017 provincial vote.
Nominations close Friday, Oct. 2.