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Education is key, says Steveston’s NDP hopeful

Scott Stewart is seeking the NDP nomination for Richmond-Steveston. -
Scott Stewart is seeking the NDP nomination for Richmond-Steveston.
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Education and skills training offer solutions to many problems facing us today, according to Scott Stewart.

The lone candidate for the NDP nomination in Richmond-Steveston is gearing up to challenge incumbent John Yap, who happens to be the Liberal government’s Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

“We’ve got to focus to ensure the people have access to the programs that will help them build a better life for themselves,” said Stewart, 54, in an interview.

“I’m young enough that I still want to do some good, and I see that our families and our seniors in Richmond need more support. I think I can get into a position where I can give that to them.”

The Steveston High grad and lifelong Richmond resident is a retired constable with the New Westminster Police Service, where he served as a collision reconstruction investigator.

He has also spent 38 years as a reservist with the Canadian Forces Health Services, serving in Germany and Bosnia.

Married with one daughter, Stewart serves on the board of Gateway Theatre, the St. John Ambulance branch executive in New Westminster and serves on the St. John Ambulance provincial community services committee. He is also a member of the Steveston Rotary Club, Royal Canadian Legion and Steveston Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Club.

Stewart said he began supporting the party in 1972 when he worked on Harold Steves’ campaign.

“My career path has kept me from direct involvement in politics, but I’ve always been a supporter of the NDP.”

Today he runs a consulting firm offering advanced driver education for government and business.

In the last election, in 2009, Yap easily won, securing 61 per cent of the vote. He called Yap a “very honourable man,” but said the riding needs someone in Victoria who will stand up for the community and address issues such as the “intolerable” level of poverty.

“He’s done his job to the best of his ability, but he hasn’t represented Richmond as powerfully as it needed to be represented. He hasn’t made our presence known,” said Stewart.

One other candidate has been announced for the riding: Jerome Dickey for the B.C. Green Party. Dickey, a graduate of South Delta Senior Secondary in Tsawwassen, is calling for a “paradigm shift if we as a society are going to resolve today’s most difficult challenges.”

The next provincial election is scheduled for May 14.

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