NDP candidate named for Kamloops-North Thompson

By James Peters / Chad Harris
August 22, 2016 - 11:29am Updated: August 22, 2016 - 5:49pm

KAMLOOPS — The candidates are beginning to fall into place for the 2017 provincial election.

The NDP in Kamloops-North Thompson announced this morning they will be represented by health care advocate Barb Nederpel.

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She was the only candidate in the riding to complete her nomination papers by last Friday's deadline.

"Last Friday at 5pm was the deadline for people to express their interest, and that point Barb Nederpel was the only candidate that had expressed interest, and had been vetted by the party," said Constituency Association President Michael Crawford. 

Nederpel is the president of the Kamloops and District Labour Council, and vice president of the Hospital Employees Union.

While political pundits predict little change in Victoria after next year's election, Nederpel says that's not what she's hearing.

"I've spent a lot of time going from Clearwater to Barriere, and Kamloops over the last month. The people that I am talking to, they are ready for change, they are ready to get rid of this government. This is people that formerly voted for the BC Liberals," explained Nederpel.

While some other parties are planning to run candidates, it's unclear who will be Nederpel's BC Liberal opponent.

"I think there is going to be a different dynamic this time, one of which is there is going to be other candidates running. I believe the Communist Party is running, there is a Green candidate running, there is possibly a Conservative candidate running. So it is going to be difficult to compare what happened last time."

Incumbent Terry Lake, the province's health minister, has yet to announce whether he will run for a third term.

Nederpel says regardless, health care will be a major focus of the campaign across the province.

"Through under-funding, increased privatization, and inaction too many British Columbians are not getting the services they need, when they need it. Terry Lake broke his promise that every British Columbian would have a physician by 2015."

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