Local NDP supporter Diana Gunderson

Crowder retains her MP seat

Local New Democratic Party supporters had plenty reason to celebrate, last week, with local MP Jean Crowder’s re-election.

  • May. 9, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Local New Democratic Party supporters had plenty reason to celebrate, last week, with local MP Jean Crowder’s re-election.

“She’s a lovely lady,” long-time local supporter Tina Arnold said, last week. “She’s easy to talk to. I’ve been working with Jean for all of her campaigns.”

What Arnold feels is one of the strongest reasons for Crowder’s re-election is her support of unions, and the working class.

“She’s doing a good job, and there’s a lot of working class people in the area,” she said. “I think she understands the issues.”

Last week, Elections Canada reported 48.9 per cent support for Crowder (31,212 votes), versus 39.3 per cent support for Koury (24,418 votes).

“I was happy how it turned out with Jean,” fellow NDP supporter Don Gordon said.

The downside to Monday’s election results is the Conservative majority, Gordon said.

“We need a good strong opposition more than ever before,” he said.

Of Koury, Gordon said, “He did as best he could, but it’s hard to fight against an incumbent.”

“I’m thrilled Jean Crowder won, but I always knew she would,” supporter Sheila McFarlane said. “I’m also thrilled we are the official opposition.”

With the area’s strong history of working-class loggers, McFarlane said that it just makes sense Crowder would retain her seat.

There’s also a strong history of strong NDP leaders in the area, McFarlane said, including the father of Medicare, Tommy Douglas, who served the Nanaimo-Cowichan riding from 1969 to 1979.

With a Conservative majority, Koury isn’t a defeatist, as the nation is now theirs to lead.

“I knew Canadians would do the right thing when they got behind the ballot box,” he said. “It’s great news for Canada.”

“Obviously, there was strategic voting,” he said. “The national NDP ran a strong national campaign.”

But, Koury warns that Crowder’s siding with social justice, anti-poverty, housing, food security, and environmental activists, may not be in the best interests of the average taxpayer.

“As virtuous as these ideals are, what is our representative doing for the average voter?” Koury asked.

Koury said that he’s pleased to have seen the Conservatives make some gains, and that he hasn’t ruled out running again, the next time around.

With notes by Krista Siefken

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