By Steve Hubrecht, Black Press
Former Invermere councillor Spring Hawes has announced that she will seek the NDP nomination in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.
Ms. Hawes sent an email to her friends and contacts on Tuesday, June 1st outlining her intent to replace current Columbia River-Revelstoke NDP MLA Norm Macdonald, who will step down come the 2017 provincial election to return to his teaching career.
“In discussions around his (Macdonald’s) stepping back, my name came up as a potential candidate to be the next NDP nominee in our riding,” wrote Ms. Hawes. “Some months ago I was asked to consider that idea, and after much careful thought, I have agreed. I think it will be an interesting and engaging nomination race, and I’m looking forward to a stimulating contest.”
She joins Invermere mayor Gerry Taft in the contest to replace Macdonald.
In her email Ms. Hawes pointed to her two terms as a municipal councillor (from 2008 to 2014), her experience as a small business owner, her involvement with various community-based initiatives (such as Imagine Invermere), and her championing of accessibility issues as reasons why she believes she is a strong candidate.
Ms. Hawes stepped down from local government in 2014 to focus on pursuing an English degree.
“That ‘time-out’ has also given me the chance to reflect on my skills and strengths, and what I feel passionate about,” she wrote. “It turns out, I feel passionate about our future here in our region, and in our country. I dream of a government that sees its role as providing the structures to support all people in their quest to succeed and thrive. I have a vision for the vibrant future our region will have.”
In addition to being a councillor, Ms. Hawes owned and ran a health food store in Invermere for 12 years, currently is a business partner in Evolve Fine Used Furniture, spent seven year (2007-2014) as chair of the local non-profit group advocating for improved accessibility and inclusion in the Upper Columbia Valley.
“I believe in collaboration and consensus building, and in respect for others, regardless of their political persuasion. People find me approachable and sincere. The core values of the NDP are in alignment with my own — our people deserve clean air and water, access to education, first-rate healthcare, opportunities for well-paying jobs, homes they can afford, and a social safety net if they need it,” she wrote. “I have a positive, hopeful outlook on our future, our region, and our valley. I am not afraid to be heard, and I don’t back away from a challenge. I can be the effective representative for our region.”
Ms. Hawes will formally launch her nomination bid with an event at the Circle Cafe in Invermere on Monday, June 6th at 5:15 p.m.