I've lived in BC my whole life, and it's been incredibly disheartening to see our elected governments fail to implement adequate and equitable policy changes on a variety of issues: climate change; the opioid crisis, unaffordable housing; lack of mental health and prescription/contraceptive and dental care; barriers to post-secondary education, and Covid-19, and more.
It's also disheartening to witness election after election go by with few young, female, and racialized candidates running; it's difficult to see your values and the issues that matter to so many young women like me rarely represented by people who share our lived experiences.
Running as a candidate is not a decision I take lightly, but there's too much at stake to not use this opportunity to advocate for marginalized individuals and communities. My generation is set to bear the brunt of the rapidly unfolding climate crisis, while the BC NDP and Liberal governments refuse to stop the subsidization of fossil fuels and expansion of unsustainable resource-extraction projects.
Sonia Furstenau is the compassionate, authentic leader B.C. needs. She is firmly rooted in her values and is committed to tackling the challenges facing my generation. She has a proven track record of getting things done, like professional reliance reform that brought more data, evidence and integrity back into resource and land-use planning. Her vision and leadership gives me hope we can build a stronger province that is affordable and sustainable for everyone.
I hope you will join me so that, with one voice, we can make it clear to Premier Horgan and those in power that their decisions continue to put our well-being and livelihoods at stake. Together, we can fight for a positive, people-centred vision of our province. You can sign up to volunteer here or make a tax-deductible contribution to my campaign here.
Simran Sarai is a Political Science and Environmental Management student at Simon Fraser University. She has served as a spokesperson for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society, and as a presenter at Radio-Canada (CBC French).
Sarai currently volunteers her time with SFU350, a climate advocacy group on campus, which successfully lobbied for Simon Fraser University to divest its financial portfolio of investments related to fossil fuels. She currently co-leads an ocean stewardship campaign (Year of the Salish Sea). She has also previously volunteered with the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation and worked with many other organizations as an active volunteer in Surrey and White Rock for about 15 years.
As a childhood cancer survivor, Sarai has a unique perspective on our universal healthcare system. She is the recipient of a SFU Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship with Distinction, and has been a server, a barista, and a car wash attendant to help put herself through school.