COQUITLAM — It only took a week, but there is already a contender ready to replace Diane Thorne as the NDP candidate in Coquitlam-Maillardville in the next provincial election.
Two-time Coquitlam city councillor Selina Robinson announced Monday she intends to seek the NDP nomination in the constituency.
She told The NOW she decided to take a shot at provincial politics because she feels she could have greater influence on issues that affect Coquitlam at the provincial level.
“After four years on council, recognizing there’s only so much you can do at municipal level,” Robinson said, noting she received calls and e-mails from residents immediately after Thorne made her retirement announcement, urging her to run.
“For me it was taking a look at the overall picture, and how can I have the most impact and make this community better. This is the way I believe I can do that.”
And the councillor noted some of the issues she wants to tackle if elected include addressing the growing income gap and child poverty and the environment.
More specifically, Robinson would like to see the province take the lead on the issue of a pesticide ban.
“It was such a big issue in the community,” she said, adding she feels the NDP is better poised to protect the environment.
Robinson also said she’d like to focus on skills and job training.
Thorne announced last week she was retiring at the end of her term, after two decades in politics as a councillor and MLA.
The NDP’s gender policy means another woman must replace the MLA.
As for the potential Robinson would have to leave her seat on councillor forcing a by-election, she defended her decision noting the opportunity to run as an MLA only presented itself last week.
She’s also not sure who else might run or what kind of race to expect for the nomination, but added she believes she is the best candidate to represent the community in Victoria.
Robinson joins a list of high-profile candidates seeking NDP nominations in the Tri-Cities.
Already three candidates have come forward in neighbouring Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, including punk rocker Joe Keithley, former Coquitlam councillor Barrie Lynch and Olympic wrestler Chris Wilson.
Robinson topped the polls in the 2011 civic election collecting 9,635 votes.