It’s perhaps a sign she’s arrived.
The Prince George-Valemount NDP candidate was featured in a Liberal attack ad on social media this week. The Liberals pointed a social media post from Parent where she referred to ‘colonialism day,’ suggesting she was ashamed of the country.
“I’m disappointed that the BC Liberals find it necessary to draw conclusions out of things that really aren’t there,” she said. “They’re criticizing me for apparently commenting on Canada, that’s not at all what I did. I’m a proud Canadian, a proud British Columbian. But I do think it’s important to recognize that Canada has a troubled history with indigenous peoples and the best way to build an inclusive and positive Canada is to recognize that history.”
The Prince George-Valemount nomination also had a bit of controversy as lawyer Jon Duncan was going to seek the party nomination but was rejected by the party. That, however, doesn’t mean Parent is a last-minute candidate.
“I had kind of been in the wings for a while,” she said. “I’ve been involved in the party for a few years now and for the past couple of election cycles … all the eyes turn towards me in the room (when looking for a candidate). It was just a matter of time. The party approached me a few weeks ago and asked if I was interested.”
One parent is a forester and the other is a health care worker. However, Parent says it wasn’t a necessarily political household. Parent, however, knew at an early age that politics was where her interests lie.
“When I was in Grade 3 I ran a petition about changing our recess time … and it worked,” she said with a laugh. “I think I knew politics was my future when I was about 10 years old.”
When she was 15 years old she competed at a national debating competition in Toronto and coaches the JDC West debate team.
Served in different roles in the party and sits as vice-chair the UNBC Senate.
“Being on the Senate is a big eye-opener into the processes of government and allows me to build relationships with cabinet ministers and all kinds of public agencies in B.C.”
The NDP released its campaign platform earlier this week and Parent says there are plenty of good ideas in it for British Columbians.
“I think it clear that the John Horgan government is producing ideas that work for the people of British Columbia,” she said. “Some of the highlights include extending the universal child care program to incorporate it into schools, subsidies for families harder affected by COVID-19, and the 10 year cancer plan is really exciting.”
The NDP platform also calls for a medical training facility in B.C. and Parent says she’ll push for that to be here in Prince George.
“It’s a fantastic program for the North,” she said. “We clearly have a shortage of health care professionals here and the more locally trained people we can get, the more opportunities we can expand for students, the better our economy is here.”
The forestry problem is decades in the making, you can’t blame it on the NDP,” she said. “It can’t all be put back together in one day. The NDP are finding a good balance between protecting biodiversity but also promoting jobs throughout the industry.”
She also supports the caribou recovery plan, which has drawn the ire of hundreds of residents across the North.
“Caribou recovery is such a hard issue because there are so many stakeholders involved,” she said. “We have to consult with our local scientists, our local First Nations leaders, and our local stakeholders to find an appropriate answer.
Health care and access in rural communities is an issue that she will be campaigning on.
“The Prince George-Valemount region is looking to ways to improve transportation to health care as well as adding beds in rural communities,” she said, adding it is part of the NDP platform.
Why should voters choose Laura Parent?
“I think, in this region, it’s time for an MLA that can have a strong voice in government,” she said. “I’m hard-working and energetic and, first and foremost, I bring compassion to the role.”