submitted photo Okanagan Indian Band Coun. Allan Louis meets with NDP federal leadership hopeful Niki Ashton (middle) and her B.C. organizer Emily White, a native of Vernon, in Armstrong Wednesday night.

Federal NDP candidate visits

Niki Ashton listens to Armstrong and area resident issues

NDP strength in B.C. brought a federal candidate to the region this week.

Leadership hopeful Niki Ashton met with approximately 40 people in Armstrong Wednesday during her campaign tour.

“I’m really excited to be back in B.C. in an exciting time with the new NDP government,” said Ashton, a native of Manitoba who is now en route to Vancouver Island for the debate.

“I’m running because I believe the NDP federal is at a crossroads and our government is at a crossroads.”

While climate change and inequality are two main challenges she is focused on, several issues were raised in Armstrong, where people from across the riding and as far as Kamloops and Kelowna came out.

Okanagan Indian Band Coun. Allan Louis raised the issue of land ownership and the need to reinstate the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Discussions also took place over the foreign take over of the seniors facilities, green transition and electoral reform.

“As someone who was born and raised here in Vernon, it was an honour to have Niki visit and see some familiar faces at the event myself,” said Emily White, B.C. organizer for Ashton’s leadership race.

For Ashton, who came from a small town, getting out to smaller communities is part of her grassroots campaign. She is also dedicated to the NDP.

“For me, what’s important is to get the party on track. We gained seats in B.C. (during the last election) but in the rest of the country we lost seats.”

The 2017 New Democratic Party leadership election will take place between Oct. 1 and 15. Along with Ashton, the other candidates are Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Jagmeet Singh.