Parksville-Qualicum: Life experience gives Liberal candidate inside look at B.C. issues

Michelle Stilwell used to being in races, and winning.

Michelle Stilwell

Michelle Stilwell

Parksville-Qualicum Liberal candidate Michelle Stilwell is used to being in races, and winning them.

A Paralympic champion in track and basketball events in 2000, 2008 and most recently at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London – she is the only female Paralympic athlete to win gold in two separate summer events and holds several world records – the 38-year-old wife and mother is now working to win a different kind of race.

“Being an athlete was about my country, about representing the people that live in this country. I love this country and to stand on the world stage and represent Canada and wear the red-and-white was something that was very special to me,” she said. “What my athletic career has taught me is dedication, determination, commitment, and those are key qualities that an MLA needs to have.”

Life experience has also given Stilwell an inside look at many of the issues B.C. residents are dealing with. She has gone through the health-care system – Stilwell broke her neck after falling down stairs when she was 17, leaving her a paraplegic – has a child with special needs, and is a business owner.

“There is a wealth of personal experience that has opened my eyes into some of the issues that the people in this riding and throughout B.C. are going through,” she said.

But this isn’t her first foray into politics. Stilwell has been involved in both federal and provincial campaigns behind the scenes, and has sat on several boards, committees and panels, all with the ability to advocate for the people concerned about the issues she was addressing.

Key issues she has heard from voters going door-to-door over the past few weeks are the need to control spending while at the same time providing adequate health-care services. In June, the Oceanside Health Care Centre is scheduled to open, one of several health facilities in which the Liberal government has invested more than $8 billion to ensure B.C. residents’ health needs are met. The Liberals have also promised an additional $2.3 billion in health care spending.

Just Posted

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artist’s rendering of a proposed student housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Ave. (WA Architects Ltd. image)
Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact they recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Island harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water Ladysmith Harbour, none threatening

Most Read