Anna Thomas is running for the B.C. NDP in Kamloops-South Thompson because, she said, it is time for change in the riding.
The 45-year-old North Kamloops resident and member of the Lytton and Peguis First Nations said she is the first Indigenous woman to run in the riding.
“This is huge,” she said, noting the NDP is inclusive. “I have a deep passion for advocating for those that aren’t able to.
Asked why she and her party are the best choice, Thomas said that not only is the party inclusive, but she also truly believes in the New Democrats, enough to seek the riding’s seat.
Thomas said the NDP accomplished plenty in three-and-a-half years and is committed to working “with the people for the people.”
“Which is absolutely super important to me,” she said. “Being Indigenous and having past government basically telling, not negotiating, I think it’s key about the collaboration and the relationship to move forward together. Not only Indigenous people, but for all people in B.C.”
The NDP has been criticized, however, for calling a snap election, with critics pointing to a power grab.
In addition, delays in pandemic aid have been reported, resulting from the government in caretaker mode during the election campaign.
Thomas, however, argued that no time is a good time for an election during a health crisis and said that the pandemic won’t be gone by next year, when the election was initially planned.
“It’s not going away,” she said. “[B.C. NDP Leader] John Horgan has said we need to secure a government through the pandemic. I honestly feel that no time would have been perfect.”
Asked for the No. 1 non-pandemic related issue facing her riding, Thomas cited the opioid crisis, homelessness and issues impacting youth.
Thomas said her party is working hard, but added she would like to see improved communication between municipalities and the federal government.