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Interview with LPC nomination contestant Joy Davies – South Surrey-White Rock

Here is another in a series of interviews that Liberal candidates or nomination contestants have done with me; this time it is with Joy Davies, a Liberal nomination contestant in the BC riding of South Surrey-White Rock. I thank her for participating and giving Liberals out there and nationally her views on the questions I submitted to her

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For those who don’t know you/haven’t visited your website yet, can you tell our readers why you’ve decided to run for the nomination?

 In April 2014 one of my riding association’s Directors at Large asked if I would consider putting my hat in the ring to become the Candidate.  I spoke with my family who were thrilled with the idea.  They have always supported my political choices. It didn’t take me long to respond as I was aware of our Open Nomination process. Justin Trudeau was reaching throughout Canada to encourage Canadians to stand up and serve their country.  Justin’s leadership is the main reason I decided to submit my nomination papers. I love his style, his openness and his compassion. He is the best person to lead the Liberal Party into government in 2015. Inspiring & principled, he IS grounded, he lives our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he “gets it.” He understands what is wrong in our country and he is putting together the strongest team so we can create solutions to the overwhelming number of problems that the Harper Conservative Government has dropped on tens of millions Canadians. As I considered and reflected, I knew that Justin needs me to be part of this team—that he needs my political and community experience, my creativity, my passion, my perseverance, and my commitment to Canada. At the moment I made the decision to step up I understood the reasons for the numerous political trials and tribulations that I have lived.  They were my building blocks to better serve Canada.

 If a Justin Trudeau government is elected (regardless of majority or minority). Are there any issues that you’d like to champion in that government if you were elected as an MP?

HEALTH: For the past 5 + years I have been a passionate public advocate for Canadians suffering from health issues—Canadians left behind by the Harper Government’s flawed health programs. I would love to be part of a Liberal Health team that brings dignity back to Canadians who are suffering. We need to see a stronger relationship between the provinces and federal government so the health system works more efficiently. As a long time politician, serving two small town Canada communities, I saw the direct impact of the Harper Government’s failed healthcare policies on citizens who were treated as collateral damage when this government put the interests of big pharma ahead of the needs of our citizens. We need major change. That, by the way, would also include supporting Canadians with better access to natural health products as well as pharmaceuticals.

ECONOMY: I am also a retired entrepreneur and adult educator with years of experience in retail and service industries and as head of Vancouver Community College’s Entrepreneurial Faculty (1991) where we developed and delivered the first entrepreneurial curriculum to those who chose to become self-employed. Seeing the passion of an inspired mind was the best reward my job could bring me. Small business people built our country and it is a tragedy to see the harsh results of mega-corporatism, created by the Harper Conservative government, on Canada’s small business community. If I was given the opportunity to participate on a committee that would provide parameters to grow the economy via a more balanced approach to business, I would be thrilled to bring my skills and experience to the table.

There is a saying that “all politics is local”. At present, do you feel there are any local issues in South Surrey-White Rock that may come into play during the election campaign, or is it going to be based on national issues only?

Overall, it will be based on national issues. That being said, South Surrey –White Rock has been under-served for 30 years through Conservative representation. We have a 21.5% senior population base (2010) and many of our seniors are no longer able to live in their homes because they can’t afford the property taxes. Most seniors now live substantially below the poverty line, they tend to be isolated and often have to cope with the complications of too many prescription medications. What happens to their quality of life? We have a moral obligation to address the needs of our seniors. In addition, in the riding, we have a railway right on the edge of our beautiful Semiahmoo Bay. Daily train traffic has exploded from 10 to 40—and the number of cars per train approaches 60. Now there are toxic chemicals and coal coming through this ocean-edge community. Vibration issues showing up in compromised foundations of homes, coal dust curtains businesses and homes on the shoreline, residents suffer interrupted sleep because train horns continually blast during the night. Residents and tourists must cross the train tracks to get to the beach which now, is very hazardous as the trains come through at faster speeds and with more frequency. The Harper government has made it clear they’re not interested in finding a solution. We need Liberal representation in our riding so we can find a solution that will meet the needs all stakeholders in the community, not just the corporations involved in the transportation of materials.

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

When elected I will reach out to my community leaders and determine from them how they would like me to keep in touch with them and their organizations. I will have quarterly town hall style meetings on topics and issues of importance to my constituents. Although social media has become a very important tool for elected officials in my riding, I will use traditional communication means to reach and hear from those who are not inclined to use social media channels.

I understand you are currently still in a nomination process for the South Surrey-White Rock riding and that you are so far the lone Liberal to put your name forward. First, what would you say to folks in the riding who have never been members of a political party before as to why they should pay $10 to get a membership and support you? The 2nd part of that question is: If you get into a situation where there are multiple Liberal candidates for this nomination, what you would say to those Liberal Delegates who are undecided or perhaps to other supporters of other candidates (if it comes to a run-off ballot) about why they should support you to be the official candidate?

Part 1: When I speak with individuals during my canvassing I encourage them to take the memberships so they can be engaged at the grass roots level of democracy… being part of the decision making process to choose the candidate for the riding. I explain how low voter turn-outs of the last number of years has hurt the growth and development of our country. I explain that their informed vote is critical to the country, and that as a LPC member they will get riding invitations to fun, informative events where they will meet like minds and learn more about LPC platforms. That one way their voice and concerns are heard. I explain that this is the first step to a functioning democracy that brings better governance into their lives. I find that most have no knowledge of the process by which a candidate is selected and they are very surprised that stewardship of functioning democracy comes down to them.

Part 2: I would say that as a committed Liberal I submitted my papers six months ago. I feel that everything I have done in my life has brought me to this final place of serving my community. The public record shows my more than thirty years of working on behalf of the communities I have lived in. I have been elected three times municipally, appointed once, served on numerous municipal, provincial and federal government committees as well as professional associations such as the BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Women In Film & Video Vancouver Board of Directors. I bring to the table many skills from business, self-employment, health advocacy societies, and a successful political track record that shows the positive difference I have made in my communities. To South Surrey-White Rock, my home, I bring a burning passion to create a better community and to Canada a revitalization of principles and values that serve the majority of Canadian people, rather than the minority of corporations, and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I want to bring my constituent’s concerns to Ottawa so I can represent them in creating solutions for our community’s issues. Electing me to be the Candidate for SS-WR means we have the best chance of painting this riding RED in the 2015 election.

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