Bill Sundhu was acclaimed on Wednesday night (April 7) as NDP candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in the next federal election. His candidacy was confirmed during an online nomination meeting.
“I am honoured to be nominated as NDP candidate and to stand for election as next MP to represent the people of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo,” Sundhu said. “We need a stronger voice in Ottawa, a fighter to help our people and our communities, a voice for the many, and not just the few.”
Sundhu said his post-pandemic recovery focus will be on better incomes and jobs, health care and making life more affordable, such as housing, child care, student debt and protecting the environment.
“The policy decisions we make coming out of the pandemic will affect us for decades. We must ensure we do not return to the failed policies of the past — austerity, cutbacks and privatization — which has resulted in an unfair economy that has left too many behind,” Sundhu said.
“Now is the moment to fight for fundamental reform, for a fairer, more equal society, structured so that people can make life better for one another, a Canada where everyone does their fair share, gets their fair share and plays by fair rules.”
During the nomination meeting, the local NDP riding association raised more than $36,000, according to constituency association president Garry Worth, who noted the association spent a total of $31,000 in the 2019 federal election. The online meeting, at which NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sent an endorsement of Sundhu, had 125 registrants.
Sundhu, was born in New Westminster and raised in the Cariboo. He and his family have made Kamloops their home for the past 25 years. He was the NDP candidate in the 2015 federal election, finishing second to incumbent Conservative MP Cathy McLeod, who won by about 3,000 votes. Sundhu was previously a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and served as the party's policy chair in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding.
Sundhu, who is a practising barrister and solicitor in Kamloops, earned a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University and is counsel to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. He also serves on the University of British Columbia board of governors.
The New Democrats are the only party thus far to have a candidate in place. With McLeod deciding against seeking a fifth term in Ottawa, there is a race for the Conservative nomination, with four people thus far declaring their candidacy: Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo, Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis, Tobiano founder Mike Grenier and Barriere Mayor Ward Stamer.
There has been no word yet on the status of the nomination process among the Liberal and Green parties.
The next federal election is not scheduled to be held until October 2023. However, many pundits expect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose party currently has a minority government, to seek an early vote, possibly as soon as later this spring.