A candidate out of the community of Maskwacis has announced she is seeking the nomination to be the federal candidate for the Red Deer – Lacombe Riding.
Katherine Swampy, who was born and raised in the area of Maskwacis, is employed as a tax officer with Revenue Canada following her recent graduation from the University of Alberta with her degree in economics and political science.
She explained she joined the NDP in 2011 as she stated it was the party that best aligned with her own personal beliefs and values.
“They believe in childcare, a fair wage, as well as ensuring and investing in our future to make sure there is something there for future generations, as well as the need for upgrading old infrastructure and creating new infrastructure – the list goes on,” she said.
No stranger to the local political landscape, Swampy recently ran as the NDP candidate for the area of Drayton Valley – Devon, where Mark Smith of the Wildrose Party was elected MLA in the provincial election this past spring.
Swampy said she has seen NDP support growing in Maskwacis, as the environment and education become increasingly important issues in the community.
“Bill C-51 – I want to work to help repeal that bill,” said Swampy in regards to the Conservatives party’s ‘Anti Terrorism’ legislation introduced near the end of January.
Also on Swampy’s list is Bill C – 45 or the ‘omnibus bill’ in which the federal legislation passed amended the Canadian Criminal Code to establish new legal duties for workplace health and safety. The bill received criticism for having loosened protections in the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and also having weakened the Canada labour Code and altering the Indian Act.
“I want to fight for all of the lakes, water and wetlands we have lost – I want to fight to get protection back and help the development of a more sustainable system,” explained Swampy, who is also a mother of five. “Being a mother also means education is a huge factor for me,” she said. “I want to ensure their future and ensure Canada is a better place for them to live.”
She said with support for the NDP continuing to grow in her town specifically, she is confident in NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, adding he makes her, “Nothing but proud.
“He has a whole team supporting him and I back him fully.”
The NDP hopeful also said she plans to go to as many community centres and coffee shops as she can while on the campaign trail as well as do a few talks at schools and what she calls ‘a lot of door knocking’ in the larger areas.
“With NDP there is a huge shift – it used to have an older vision, but now it seems it’s more about the youth of our country,” she said. “As this generation gets a little older, it seems politics are becoming a more appealing idea, and it seems the NDP are who appeals to them the most.
“I think we need fresh, young ideas and with the youth coming out that’s the team we are turning to.”
Prior to joining the NDP, Swampy described herself as a conservative before moving to Ontario for a period time where she found herself with more Liberal values. But she recalled it was her meeting with Jack Layton in 2005 where her mind was changed. “When I met Mr. Layton he definitely swayed me,” she said on the late NDP party leader.