Janis Irwin Launches Campaign for NDP Nomination

  • The audience listens as Janis Irwin announces the launch of her campaign for the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood NDP nomination. Ted Smith

Janis Irwin has become the first person to announce as a candidate for the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood NDP nomination. Brian Mason, long-time MLA for the constituency, recently announced he will not seek-re-election.

Over 200 people attended the announcement on August 1.

A resident of the constituency and a community volunteer (including being a contributor to Boyle McCauley News), Irwin ran for the federal seat of Edmonton Griesbach in the 2015 election. Conservative Kerry Diotte won the seat.

“The NDP has a long history of strong representatives in the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood area. MLAs like Ray Martin, Pam Barrett, and Brian Mason have modelled what it means to be an effective elected official, one that’s principled, passionate, and hard-working. I believe that I can build on their good work,” says Irwin.

Irwin’s professional background includes being a teacher and vice principal. “My background in education reminds me of the young people of this province and how important it is that we re-elect a government that will continue to invest in education, ensuring that students are safe and supported. I think about those students I taught who struggled with their identity, and what it could mean for them under a different government where they don’t feel safe being who they truly are. I know first hand just how important these supports are and I know that the decisions a government makes on issues like these get to the heart of what we want our society to look like and how we treat each other, and how we model for future generations that we are truly a caring, inclusive province.”

Several women elected officials have faced public abuse and harassment in recent years. Still, Irwin encourages women not to let this deter them from seeking public office. “Women bring a unique and important lens to politics. When women aren’t represented in politics, their issues aren’t effectively raised,” she says. “I think that there continue to be a number of challenges women in politics face. One of the best ways that we can try to counter this is to continue to encourage women to run for office. We know that statistics show that women often need to be asked multiple times to run. I always encourage women who are thinking about being involved in politics to give it a shot. But, they need to know that they will be supported. And we can support women in so many ways—from helping them raise money to knocking on doors, every action makes a difference.”

More information about Irwin and her campaign can be found at janisirwin.ca. A nomination meeting date for the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood NDP has been scheduled for the evening of October 23, 2018.

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