Lived experiences prompt Audrey McKinnon of Prince George to step up as NDP candidate

(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
NDP candidate Audrey McKinnon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

For NDP Cariboo-Prince George candidate Audrey McKinnon, the 2021 federal election is her first foray into politics but one she feels is critically important.

“I have an 11-year-old son and I don’t like where things are going,” McKinnon told Black Press Media during an election stop in Williams Lake recently. “I want to see a better society for him.”

A well-spoken, energetic woman who currently works as a communication coordinator for the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in Prince George, McKinnon believes the top priorities for the country are the climate crisis, affordability, extending the health care system beyond the doctor’s office and addressing poverty.

“The pandemic has really revealed the cracks in our system and has left a lot of people vulnerable. We need to address that with root solutions that address the root causes of that and lift people out of poverty so that they can start participating in the economy the way they want to and the way they hope to.”

McKinnon was recently in Quesnel and Williams Lake on campaign stops, and she plans to make more visits to the area.

McKinnon was door-knocking Aug. 20 in the lakecity, where she listened to the concerns shared by residents Florence and Luke Doxtator.

“I think it’s good,” Luke said of McKinnon’s efforts to meet constituents. “I think all parties need to hear what the concerns are from constituents. It was an open dialogue. It was respectful. On the (political) spectrum (we’re) completely different, however, we had a conversation.”

Fewer firearm restrictions and moving forward with First Nations reconciliation in a meaningful way are his top issues.

McKinnon said it’s OK to not agree on everything.

“We still had a good conversation. There were things we did agree on. I don’t know if people are necessarily voting on a single issue. I think they want representation that’s going to stick for them in parliament. I want to represent everybody, regardless if they vote for me.”

Just eight years ago, McKinnon and her son were living in poverty. Helping others is a priority for her.

“I saw a lot of the barriers that people are facing and realized that … poverty is a policy choice and there are policies that can fix it and get people out of that situation. I want to help people with that.”

McKinnon said federal politics are “a big world to be stepping into and a high-pressured world to be stepping into … but I’m really excited to do the work.”

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