This is one of several profiles on the main candidates running in the Victoria riding in the 2021 federal election.
On why she hopes voters in the Victoria riding send her back to Ottawa, Laurel Collins looks to her four-month-old daughter.
“It’s about her future, the future of our children, our grandchildren,” the NDP candidate said. “It’s reminded me again about how important these fights are.”
Those fights include ensuring the Victoria her daughter grows up in has safe and affordable housing and is resilient with protected coastlines and forests.
“Victoria sent me to Ottawa to fight for this community and fight for bold climate action, for real action on the housing crisis, to get support for the people who really need it and that’s what I’ve been doing,” the incumbent said.
But with people still struggling, Collins said, “we need a government that’s going to protect what we hold dear and also create a world that is more equitable.”
An equitable Canada means creating a wealth tax for the richest Canadians and putting that revenue into services people depend on, she said. “It’s taking that money and investing it in a recovery that works for everyone.”
It also means “bold” investments into housing, as Collins pointed to the NDP promise to build 250,000 new affordable units across Canada within five years.
She accused Liberal leader Justin Trudeau of saying what people want to hear, but said he “has no intention of actually doing it.” In contrast, Collins said the NDP’s record proves it can deliver in Parliament. She highlighted her party’s pushes for boosted pandemic support programs and her personal efforts helped ensure a climate change accountability act included progress reports and an interim emissions objective.
“It was an honour to lead the negotiations and to actually get results on this critical piece of legislation,” the NDP environment critic said.
An NDP government, she added, would also respond to the overdose crisis with “dignity and compassion” by treating it as a health issue. New Democrats would declare the crisis a national public health emergency and invest in safe supply strategies.
In talks with many people during her campaign, Collins said, people have been “shaken to their core” by the discoveries of mass graves at former residential school sites. She said the NDP would bring forth “real reconciliation” that would include ending court battles against Indigenous groups and ensuring clean drinking water in every community.
“It is essential that we have a federal government that doesn’t just talk about reconciliation, (but) that actually takes the action.”
Canadians are excited about the vision New Democrats have put forward, Collins said.
“It has been the honour of my lifetime to represent this community and I hope that this community will send me back to Ottawa to keep fighting for them.”
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