Margaret Maximenko of Christina Lake has announced that she will be seeking the NDP nomination in the newly named riding of South Okanagan West Kootenay (SOWK). The federal riding was formerly called B.C. Southern Interior and represented by NDP MP Alex Atamanenko, who has decided not to run in the next federal election.
After a great deal of encouragement from party members, family, friends and supporters, Margaret Maximenko has declared her intention to seek the nomination.
“I am excited to participate in this democratic process. Our country is currently suffering from a serious democratic deficit as evidenced by the four federal byelections currently featuring conservative candidates who were personally hand-picked by Stephen Harper.”
“Alex Atamanenko leaves an amazing legacy that would be my honour to continue,” Maximenko stated when asked about her intention. “Alex has served the constituents of the B.C. Southern Interior with determination and grace and I believe he has the most effective track record of any Member of Parliament in our corner of the world.”
Maximenko said, “I bring experience to the representational Member of Parliament role with my time as a rural director of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, two and half years as Local Government Spokesperson on the Premiers, Commission on Resources and the Environment (CORE) along with many other positions within local and regional communities of interest. I bring over 23 years of business experience to the table.
“With a start in property management at the age of 20, operating a retail operation, three contracting companies and a manufacturing plant employing 100 people over four years, I have a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by those entrepreneurs who risk everything. They are in fact the backbone of our local economies responsible for creating the majority of new jobs across our country.
“My four top goals are; 1) to represent all the constituents of SOWK, 2) work to restore Canada’s standing in the world which has deteriorated significantly under the Harper regime, 3) focus efforts to support our environment and 4) address the issues around growing inequality that are rapidly eroding the middle class in our country.
“I look forward to meaningful input from across the riding as I begin this adventure and I will do everything in my power to build upon Alex Atamanenko’s accomplishments during his time as our MP.“
The new boundaries for the riding of SOWK will now include Nakusp and Penticton but no longer contain Cawston, Keremeos, Hedley, Princeton, Kaslo and Nelson. The riding remains huge and Maximenko feels fortunate that Christina Lake is situated in the centre, therefore travel to address constituent and community issues can be accomplished effectively in either direction.
The next federal election is widely believed to be held Oct. 19, 2015.