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North Island-Powell River MP will not be running in next federal election

Blaney says decision comes due to ‘recent personal news’
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh toured a Campbell River boatyard business on March 5, 2024. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney announced Thursday (April 4) that she will not be seeking re-election in the 2025 federal election.

Blaney will remain on as member of parliament for the riding, and will be keeping her critic roles, but will be stepping down from her role as NDP party whip.

“Representing our community is a true honour,” said Blaney. “There is nowhere else like it, and fighting for the people who live in North Island—Powell River has been and will continue to be my priority.

“The decision to not run again is not one I made lightly. But recent personal news means that I will need to be closer to home.”

Blaney was first elected in 2015, and counts among her achievements making life more affordable and easier for veterans, pushing the government to investigate the treatment of women veterans, and to raise old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.

“We’ve been able to see a significantly more resources come into the writing since I was elected,” she said. “I’m really pleased with that. It’s just with building some housing not as much as I would like, but it’s there.

“I’m also very proud that we’re one of the sites here in Campbell River of the PacifiCan office.

Though she will be stepping down in 2025, there is still work that needs to be done.

“We’re still working on things like finishing off the women veteran report that we did start in Parliament.

“That’s something that’s a high priority for me. I’m very committed to making sure that work is done,” she said.

She said she still will be working on improving weather stations in the riding, as well as focusing on housing and affordability for the remainder of her time in office.

“A lot of folks that are living, working, and playing on the ocean. They are still struggling, especially during the fall and winter season, with having up-to-date information.

“So we’re working closely with the ministry of environment to get those things remedies so that people have that information when they need it which will lead to increased safety in our region.

“Of course, housing has come up again and again,” she said.

“I know it’s a big issue and I can continue to be working with organizations and municipalities and communities around trying to get more funding from the federal government to support building non-market housing, which would really assist with the cost of living right now.”

She also hopes to continue to push for the federal government to provide resources to help the transition of fish farms to a land-based model.

As party whip, Blaney said she also helped secure dental care and Pharmacare.

“I want to thank my New Democrat colleagues and our community for your continued trust and support moving forward,” added Blaney.

“I’m proud to be a part of the team that’s delivering for Canadians and getting more money back to you.

“In the meantime, I’ll keep pushing for measures that put more money in your pocket and get Ottawa to work in your favour, not ones that prop up rich CEOs.”

Blaney said she wanted to thank the people of the riding, and that “I hope that we find ways to have different sorts of opinions but in their respectful way and I hope that we stop seeing so much fear mongering and focus more on what are the solutions for the big challenges we see in the future.”

“We have to represent our riding the best we can,” she said. “You’re always going to have things that people disagree about and I think that a job of a politician at any level is to try to work with people the best that they can and have respectful dialogue to look at solutions.

“We can’t just be afraid, we have to find a way to embrace some of those hard things and move through them together because we’re not going to get better as a country and as a community unless we’re working together.”

RELATED: MP Rachel Blaney calls for improved policing in Indigenous communities

Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Campbell River Mirror in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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