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Blog interview with LPC contestant Mary Pynenburg – Vancouver Kingsway

I’ve had a brief sojourn from the blog as I’ve been dealing with personal matters, as well as the fact I’ve not had some of my folks who agreed to do interviews get back to me, but finally we have one today, and it comes from Mary Pynenburg, Liberal nomination contestant for the riding of Vancouver-Kingsway. Mary is the current President of the National Women’s Liberal Commission. I’d like to thank her for her participation in this interview.
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For those who don’t know, can you tell us why you decided to run for the nomination?

I am trained as an architect and urban planner and as Canada is 80% urbanized, it concerns me that there are no architects or planners in parliament. I believe that I can contribute to the solutions we need for urban challenges such as ageing infrastructure, public transit and affordable housing.

If a Justin Trudeau government is elected, and you are elected as MP, are there any specific issues you’d like to champion in that government as an MP?

It is a real challenge to pick just one. Personally, affordable child care and affordable housing are very important to me. I also believe we need to revisit many issues to try to fix Conservative cuts such as restore long form census and restore scientific research in climate change and promote innovation in green technology.

There is a saying that “all politics is local”. Are there any local issues in Vancouver Kingsway that may come into play during an election campaign? (or do you feel national issues will predominate)

What I am hearing on the doorsteps is that the progressive voters of Vancouver Kingsway want a change of government and want to get rid of the Harper Conservatives. So national issues will likely predominate – jobs, health care and the environment was well as Canada’s place in the world.

There are some who say once a politician gets elected, the local constituency’s wishes or concerns sometimes get ignored. Is there anything specific you would or could do to keep in touch with the riding… and related to that, how do you feel you can best represent the riding in Ottawa?

I believe that it’s important as an MP to keep in touch, between elections, and to remain open to the full range of constituent views. This can be achieved through issue-oriented town halls (in person or on line) or getting out of the office into the community often (eg local festivals and community events). I will continue to be active on social media such as Facebook (see MaryPynenburg for Vancouver Kingsway) and twitter (@womanwhovotes). Furthermore, hiring empathetic constituency staff is a critical detail that should not be ignored to ensure that when I am in Ottawa, I never lose touch with the people of Vancouver Kingsway.

I understand you’re the only current LPC nomination contestant in the riding. If the riding becomes contested, what would you say to LPC riding members in Vancouver-Kingsway as to why they should vote for you to be the LPC candidate. And, if you were to become the candidate, what would you say to voters as to why they should vote for you and the Liberal Party of Canada?

As an experienced urban planner and project manager, I am well qualified to be a community advocate. As a former candidate and campaign manager, I know that the best Liberal candidate is one that is prepared to work the hardest and meet as many voters as possible between the nomination and the election – not just during the writ period. Vancouver Kingsway is one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse ridings. As a daughter of immigrants, I understand the aspirations of hardworking families who want a real and fair chance of success for themselves and their children. In particular, I believe we need to invest more in advanced education and to resolve issues around recognition of foreign credentials for professional immigrants.

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