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Procure, Grass speak to labour council

(The following news story appeared in the Westside Weekly's April 14, 2004 edition)

KELOWNA - NDP candidate Joyce Procure says she won't be running from her record in the upcoming federal election.

Procure told a North Okanagan Labour Council meeting in Kelowna April 7 people have advised her not to mention she's an active union member during the upcoming federal election campaign.

But Procure said she will promote, rather than hide from her membership in the B.C. Nurses Union when she runs in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding against incumbent Conservative Stockwell Day and Liberal Vanessa Sutton.

Procure said that as a community nurse who works with the developmentally disabled and a union steward who assists member with their problems, she sees the effects of government decisions and cutbacks on real people.

"Being a community nurse gives me a broader perspective," she said. "I know what happens in people's homes . . . The most vulnerable are paying the highest price from these cuts."

Being a shop steward is a lot like being a member of Parliament, Procure added. "People expect you to fix their problems."

It's not surprising that a nurse would name health care as one of the major election issues, but Procure said health care is also an economic issue.

"If people are healthy, the economy is healthy," she said.

The labour council also heard from Kelowna NDP candidate Starleigh Grass, who weighed in on health care by asking, "Why aren't we following through on the good ideas in the Romanow report?"

Grass cited child care as one of her key issues. "I've met parents who have to decide month to month whether they can afford child care," she told the labour audience.


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