“The north and rural communities need a stronger voice in Victoria,” those are the words of Joan Atkinson who announced she will be running for MLA on behalf of the NDP in the Prince George-Mackenzie constituency.

“When John Horgan reached out to ask me for going for this role I jumped on the opportunity,” explained Atkinson.

She served on Mackenzie’s City Council for nearly 15 years and has spent the last 8 months working on the Mackenzie Timber Supply Coalition Group.

In her speech held today (Friday), she touched on a number of issues including overdose rates, homelessness and high-speed internet availability to rural communities.

“Forestry is only one of the issues that require ongoing attention, homelessness in our region and the mental health and addiction issues that often leads to homelessness is of critical importance.”

In addition, she announced her support for the snap election, claiming “I’m confident that BC elections will do a fine job and this election will put nobody’s health in jeopardy.”

Despite the constituency electing a liberal MLA for the last few elections, with Mike Morris winning for the past two, Atkinson says, “I know my community is ready for a change.”