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NDP names candidate for Sea to Sky

Michelle Livaja, 45, joins Sturdy, Taylor and Galbraith on May 9 ballot

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Five weeks out from Election Day, the BC NDP has named its candidate for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

Bowen Island's Michelle Livaja, 45, joins Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy, the Green Party's Dana Taylor and independent Tristan Galbraith on the ballot May 9.

For the last 12 years, Livaja has worked with the BC Nurses' Union, helping advocate for better healthcare, and is an active volunteer in her community.

She is currently a full-time student at Capilano University majoring in communications.

"I've just seen the struggles of the nurses and other working people," Livaja said, of her decision to run.

"Families are working harder and just not getting ahead, so we figure we need a government that is working for the people, and we really can't afford another four years of (Liberal Premier) Christy Clark."

A BC NDP press release announcing Livaja's candidacy said she's standing with the party and its leader John Horgan because of its plan for a $15 minimum wage, $10-a-day childcare and affordable housing.

Livaja said she is relying on a grassroots effort and the power of volunteers to help make an impact in the short lead-up to Election Day.

"(People) have had enough of this government and we need a change, and people are coming out of the woodwork and ready to help make that happen," she said.

Asked what she sees as the big issues facing the riding, Livaja responded after a lengthy pause saying: "Definitely proper funding for schools and healthcare, those are big ones, of course that's all over the province. I'm also seeing issues with housing."

She added that affordability and fee increases are another big issue, particularly for residents of Bowen Island.

"We don't have gas, so everything is electrical, and it's a real issue," said Livaja of the most recent BC Hydro fee increase.

"Normal working families can't afford this."

Asked how she might work to keep fees down, Livaja paused again.

"That problem is coming from the tax cuts that have been given to the top two per cent," she said. "If we have people paying their fair share then there's money there for these things."

In response to other questions around things like housing and affordability, Livaja, who was acclaimed, referred to the NDP platform.

"We're waiting for the platform to be released at this point, so I'm not going to say too much on that, but we're really excited about it so stay tuned and there will be more to come," she said.

"I'm really excited to be nominated and ready to hit the ground running. I'm in it to win it so I look forward to coming out and meeting members of the community."

For more on the BC NDP and its platform, head to www.bcndp.ca.

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