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Schneider acclaimed as Kings-Hants NDP candidate following Wolfville nomination meeting

Stephen Schneider will represent the NDP in Kings-Hants in the next federal election.
Stephen Schneider will represent the NDP in Kings-Hants in the next federal election. - Contributed

Climate change, income inequality, sustainable development top of mind

WOLFVILLE, N.S. —

It’s official: Stephen Schneider of Wolfville will represent the NDP in Kings-Hants in the next federal election.

Schneider was uncontested and was acclaimed at a nomination meeting at the Wolfville Royal Canadian Legion on March 7. The meeting was attended by more than 30 people, including former provincial NDP MLA’s Ramona Jennex, Jim Morton and Bob Levy.

Kings-Hants NDP Electoral District Association president Hugh Curry said those attending the nomination meeting were both unanimous and enthusiastic in their support for Schneider. They are “extremely proud” to have him carry the party banner.

Schneider said he’s “humbled” by the support of the Kings-Hants NDP and he looks forward to hitting the campaign trail.

“I think we have the winds at our back, I think the people of Kings-Hants are ready and very willing for a progressive candidate and for the ideas that the NDP will be putting forth in this election,” Schneider said.

He said it felt great to have such a strong level of support from local NDP members at the meeting and there are many more supporters who were unable to attend. Schneider said there were several new faces at the meeting, including younger members, which is positive.

“That to me was particularly notable, that we’re starting to reach out and involve individuals who formerly were not involved in the party, and that’s obviously key for us to reach out to and engage new members,” he said.

Meg Townsend, Stephen Schneider’s wife, nominated him as the NDP candidate for Kings-Hants.
Meg Townsend, Stephen Schneider’s wife, nominated him as the NDP candidate for Kings-Hants.

Focus on social justice

In his acceptance speech, he said that the NDP “must be the party of big, bold, innovative, progressive ideas” in the next election and must prioritize climate change as a defining issue. He said it’s imperative that we begin a serious effort in Canada towards significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Another policy idea that Schneider endorsed in his acceptance speech was a national Basic Income Guarantee, which is meant to ensure all Canadians have a livable wage.

“Income inequality and poverty continue to be two of the most significant obstacles to social justice in this country,” he said.

Schneider said he supports the Green New Deal that has been promoted in the U.S. by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat elected to Congress in the recent mid-term elections.

Schneider calls this “visionary.”

He is particularly attracted to it because it integrates many progressive values that he said are essential to moving forward in the 21st century. These include a low carbon economy, job guarantees, a living wage, the rights of Indigenous people and efforts to promote gender and racial equality.

Schneider is a member of the Faculty of Criminology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. If elected, he pledges to use this expertise to help develop a social problem-solving approach to crime in the country that addresses root causes.

“Because our criminal justice system is so inherently flawed we must shift resources towards proven techniques, most of which are preventative in nature,” Schneider said.

In the running

Former Kings-Hants Liberal MP Scott Brison recently stepped down. Kody Blois and Meg Cuming have announced intentions to seek the Liberal nomination in Kings-Hants. Either would have to secure a majority of votes at a nomination meeting to make it official. The date for a nomination meeting has yet to be set.

Martha MacQuarrie will represent the Conservative Party in Kings-Hants in the upcoming federal election.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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For more information, visit www.stephenschneider.ca.

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