B.C. will host a provincial election on Oct. 24 and five candidates are currently in the running for the Mid Island – Pacific Rim riding’s seat. Scott Fraser has been the West Coast’s MLA for 15 years, but recently announced he would not be seeking re-election. In partnership with Black Press Media newspapers in the riding, the Westerly News has given each of the candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to West Coast voters. Each candidate was given a 500-word limit to present themselves and their platforms. The following is the submission filed by NDP candidate Josie Osborne.
Josie Osborne – NDP
My name is Josie Osborne and I’m proud to be the BC NDP candidate for Mid Island-Pacific Rim.
I’ve lived in Tofino for 22 years, working as a fisheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, working as executive director of an environmental education non-profit organization and, for the past seven and a half years, serving as mayor of Tofino. I’ve been honoured to serve the citizens of Tofino with my collaborative, positive and accessible style of leadership, and I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to serve as your MLA.
My time as a community leader has taught me that politics is more than just policies and promises – politics is about people. It’s about providing services and making sound decisions that make people’s lives better and that conserve and restore the environment that sustains us. As MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, I will work hard for people, focusing on the challenges that everyday people and families face in our riding, such as affordable housing for families and seniors, high-quality affordable childcare, investing in classrooms and schools, increasing mental health resources (especially for youth) and improving health care delivery and facilities with a special focus on seniors. And I’ll pay particular attention to issues that are crucial to building stronger, more resilient communities: reconciliation, reducing inequality and building sustainable prosperity in a diverse, low-carbon economy.
Continuing the process of reconciliation with First Nations is fundamental to BC’s success and to building a shared future that creates prosperity for all. As MLA, I will remain committed to doing everything I can to address and eliminate prejudice and the systemic racism present in our institutions, and to undertaking the hard work of implementing Bill 41 – The Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
All people deserve to live with dignity and purpose, and I am deeply committed to improving the conditions that leave far too many people – young and old – in vulnerable, precarious situations. This includes fighting the overdose crisis on all fronts and tackling homelessness, inadequate long-term care, food insecurity and stigmas faced by people living with mental health and substance use disorders.
I firmly believe that economic prosperity and a sustainable future are not mutually exclusive. As Mid Island-Pacific Rim people and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ll stay focused on supporting hard-hit sectors and businesses, such as tourism and hospitality services, while we build a more diverse, resilient and low-carbon economy that reduces climate pollution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that it’s never been more important to have a government in BC that is focused on everyone—we simply can’t afford a government that only works for some of us. The islands, rural communities and small towns and cities of Mid Island-Pacific Rim deserve a hard-working, principled, compassionate MLA. I will lead with my head and my heart in listening to you, bringing your voices to Victoria and working hard for you each and every day.