Helen Poon is running as the BC Liberal candidate for Mid Island-Pacific Rim in the 2020 provincial election. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Helen Poon is running as the BC Liberal candidate for Mid Island-Pacific Rim in the 2020 provincial election. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

BC VOTES 2020: Helen Poon advocates for small business and families in Mid Island-Pacific Rim

Helen Poon is a BC Liberal candidate in the 2020 provincial election

The Alberni Valley News will be running candidate submissions for every candidate running in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding. The following is the submission filed by BC Liberal candidate, Helen Poon.

I was born and raised in Vancouver and trained to be a lawyer in England. Since 2017, I’ve spent my time in Port Alberni, after a visit to the community led me to acquire a historic hotel-pub which I am proud to have revitalized over the last three years.

Over the last eight years, I’ve developed and maintained three affordable housing projects in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, accommodating hundreds of our most vulnerable citizens. I am someone who likes to challenge the status quo and find creative solutions to difficult problems. Since acquiring a business in Port Alberni, I have set about promoting the city as a destination for tourism and investment. I was elected to Port Alberni city council in 2018 with the goal of sharing the opportunities that I saw for the community. I was subsequently elected to the Union of BC Municipalities board—this experience allowed me to understand and advocate for issues that matter to all British Columbians. I have always sought a diversity of perspectives, and I am prepared to listen.

As your MLA:

I will strongly advocate for more affordable housing developments. I have seen the difference a clean and safe home has on people’s outlook on life. I recognize that different communities will require a different approach from housing for seniors to disabled people, to people fleeing domestic abuse, to low income families.

I will advocate for support for small businesses and families. Many have been hit hard by the pandemic. That’s why a BC Liberal government would immediately cut PST to zero percent for one year. This is a time to jumpstart our economy and invest in British Columbians. I am committed to advocating for the development of more child care spaces at an accessible cost to support working families. I will advocate for a more diversified economy, understanding that the foundational industries of forestry, fishing, farming, aquaculture and tourism will remain relevant for years to come. I am committed to creating more jobs and opportunities for the entire riding.

I will advocate for a pathway for recovery from drug addiction. The lack of robust support provided by the current government for individuals struggling with mental health and addictions issues is not only failing these individuals, but the communities they live in. A BC Liberal government will treat the cause to prevent the harm, clearly recognizing that addiction is a medical disorder, and ensure a focus on public health and safety in the treatment of people suffering from addictions.

I will advocate for timely renewal of our aging infrastructure, as well as funding to develop new infrastructure such as roads and waste management facilities to preserve the beautiful natural environment that we live in. I will also advocate for better cellular phone service throughout the region for the safety of everyone.

I will advocate for more meaningful relations with Indigenous communities. I am 100 percent committed to ending racism and I am proud of the friendships I have developed with Indigenous people.

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