North Vancouver NDP pick First Nations activist

North Vancouver federal NDP members have selected a First Nations activist on the forefront of the pipeline battle to run in this fall’s election.

NDPers acclaimed Carleen Thomas, who works for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative, at a nomination meeting held on Saturday. The initiative was set up specifically to oppose Kinder Morgan’s application to expand its pipeline to Burrard Inlet.

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Thomas said that was what motivated her to run.

“A lot of people would ask me what they could do to support us and I’d say ‘Contact your elected officials – your MLA and your MP,’” she said. “I guess some people heard me say that and they asked if I’d consider running in the federal election. We’ve always been NDP so I explored it, chatted it over with my family and decided to go for it.”

While she supports the NDP’s call for increasing the minimum wage and a national $15-per day childcare program, Thomas said she hopes to change the way important decisions are made in Canada.

“I think really it’s bringing huge decisions back to a grassroots level. In our experience with working on the Sacred Trust Initiative, there’s just so many things that are happening without people understanding the consequences or ramifications of what will be affecting them in their own communities,” she said.

Thomas will face incumbent Conservative MP Andrew Saxton and Liberal challenger Jonathan Wilkinson on the ballot.

North Vancouver Green Party members have not set a nomination meeting date yet.

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