Focus of new NDP riding association president is on referendum and child care

Bill Roberts leads a new executive in Kamloops-South Thompson

The provincial Kamloops-South Thompson NDP Constituency Association has elected a new executive, naming retired Thompson Rivers University professor Bill Roberts president.

Joining Roberts on the executive is Murray Dickson, who was elected as vice president, Tom Friedman, who was elected secretary, and Sandra Bandura, who was elected treasurer.

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In his new role as president, Roberts will be responsible for facilitating policies of the NDP government, telling KTW he wants to see “rapid progress on $10 a day child care.”

“I’m a developmental psychologist and I’m familiar with the research on good, early childhood education,” Roberts said. “There’s immense benefits.”

The province recently announced 53 child-care centres, including the Kamloops Child Development Centre, will offer $10-a-day day care as part of a pilot project that will continue through March 2020. The centre on the North Shore began its program on Nov. 1.

But the immediate goal for the executive is to ensure people mail in their ballots regarding the referendum on B.C.’s electoral system — due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.

“I think proportional representation is a real game-changer for how politics is done in B.C.,” Roberts said.

He also noted the NDP government’s accomplishments since taking office, such as moving forward with the Site C hydroelectric dam project and LNG Canada, the latter being a $40-billion liquefied natural-gas project in northern B.C.

Roberts also lauded the government’s response to environmental concerns surrounding the proposed Ajax mine near Kamloops and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“It’s been a very active government, a very dynamic government, and that’s really nice to see,” he said.

Roberts, who was a psychology professor at TRU, also taught at York University in Toronto and Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax and served as a journal editor for the Canadian Psychological Association before moving to Kamloops.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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