Rebecca Smith

Cancer jolted Cloverdale-Langley City candidate’s life

Every week the Langley Advance profiles one candidate for the federal election.

Prior to her run for the federal NDP in the new Cloverdale-Langley City riding, Rebecca Smith had already been interviewed by the Langley Advance once.

It was back in Smith’s high school days, when she took part in the Forum for Young Canadians. The headline was “Smith Goes to Ottawa,” she recalled.

Smith moved to Langley with her family in 1983 and spent her high school years at Brookswood and R.E. Mountain.

After graduating from UVic with a degree in political science and history, she headed for the private sector, running a financial planning firm for six years in Langley and Abbotsford.

She switched from the for-profit to the not-for-profit world after both she and her father suffered through cancer.

She didn’t feel any longer like she was making enough of a difference in the world, Smith said.

She found herself taking on the role of executive director for the B.C. Psychological Association. The group was looking to expand its presence, and it gave Smith an opportunity to talk about the importance of mental health.

“I’m passionate about taking care of people,” Smith said.

She was also a board member and interim president of Bully Free B.C.

That came from a round table she had worked on with Lower Mainland politicians.

“It’s primarily about workplace bullying,” Smith said. The goal of the group is to provide information to employers to help make better workplaces.

In addition, she worked with A GP For Me, the province-wide initiative to get more people family physicians.

“I learned a lot about the sustainability of our health care system,” said Smith.

Since she moved on from the Psychological Association a few years ago, she’s been working as a consultant.

On the political side, Smith said she’s been a longtime NDPer.

“I have always believed in social justice,” Smith said.

She’s a past VP of the Surrey-Cloverdale provincial riding association. As a Cloverdale resident, when the new federal riding was created, it made sense to run where she lived, she said.

Smith was asked to run by a nomination committee in the new riding.

One of the obvious challenges is to get out and meet the many people in the new riding. There are a lot of new developments in the area, particularly on the Surrey side.

Big issues Smith wants to take on if she is elected include the importance of small business, childcare, and seniors concerns such as pensions and home care.

 

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