Michele Ney, B.C. Green Party candidate for Nanaimo, makes a speech at her official campaign launch Sunday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Michele Ney says her father ‘would be a Green’ today

Nanaimo’s B.C. Green Party candidate holds official campaign launch

The daughter of former mayor Frank Ney said if her father were alive today, “he would be a Green.”

Michele Ney, the B.C. Green Party candidate for Nanaimo, launched her campaign Sunday and referenced her famous father a few times in her speech at her Bowen Road campaign office.

Frank Ney was Nanaimo MLA from 1969-1972 and Michele Ney said his experience winning a provincial seat fuels her belief that she can win election, too.

“In an NDP town, he won, he won as a Socred. Go figure. Who would have thought that?” she asked. “But he won because the people believed in him.”

She said he had honesty, integrity and a vision for Nanaimo.

“He had a deep passion for the community, loved, loved, loved people and of course, loved the environment and he instilled those values in myself as well…” Michele Ney said. “If he was here today, he would be a Green. He’d be all over being a Green,” she said.

At one point Sunday, she said she was sorry that her father wasn’t there to see what she’s doing now, then decided that “he is here.”

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The candidate, in her speech Sunday, touched on a few priorities, primarily education and a shift to a green economy.

The retired teacher said she saw “so much struggle” among students over the last 15 years, said it made her angry, and said people have no idea what life is like for some of the kids in Nanaimo’s classrooms.

“They’re packed full with all these needy kids and I felt so frustrated that I felt like I can’t do the best job I can because I was spread out so thinly,” she said.

Investing in education, Ney said, helps combat other social problems such as those related to mental health and addictions.

As for the economy, Ney said there will be exponential change in the years to come and she favours a shift away from jobs in the fossil fuel industry and toward renewable energy.

“When we look at our future with my crystal ball, we are going to have this challenge with global warming, and I swear, it’s going to take each and every one of us helping each other through the times ahead…” she said. “You can do the smallest thing or the biggest thing to help us make this difference and we are actually going to see a win for British Columbia, the Greens, and the Earth our home.”

The byelection for Nanaimo’s provincial riding will be Jan. 30. Sheila Malcolmson is running for the NDP and Tony Harris is representing the B.C. Liberals. Bill Walker is the B.C. Libertarian candidate and Robin Richardson of the Vancouver Island Party and independent candidate Ray Farmere have also indicated they will run.

RELATED: Nanaimo byelection to be held Jan. 30



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