Two candidates seeking NDP nomination for Burnaby-Lougheed

Craig Langston is seeking the BC NDP nomination in the Burnaby-Lougheed riding. - Contributed photo
Craig Langston is seeking the BC NDP nomination in the Burnaby-Lougheed riding.
— image credit: Contributed photo

So far there are two candidates vying for the New Democrat nomination for Burnaby-Lougheed, which will be decided Oct. 13.

The seat is currently held by incumbent BC Liberal MLA Harry Bloy, who has said he will not be seeking re-election.

Joining Dr. Jane Shin in the race is Craig Langston, president of the Cerebral Palsy Association of B.C.

Langston, 46, said he submitted his nomination papers about a year ago, in anticipation of an early election, and has been waiting ever since.

He has cerebral palsy, uses a power wheelchair and is First Nations Dene originally from northern Alberta.

"One of my main motivations for stepping forward and running is I really want to encourage more people with disabilities and more aboriginal people to be more engaged in the democratic process," Langston said.

"So often we are talking to government from the outside. We really need to be at those tables within all levels of government."

Langston is also a member of Burnaby city hall's social issues committee and the planning department's access committee, as well as the City of Vancouver's disability advisory committee.

Over the years, he's also noticed much overlap between issues for people with disabilities and issues concerning seniors.

"I really want to be the voice for our elders," he said.

Among those issues is the erosion of coverage for homecare services, where some people can't get assistance with meal preparation or cleaning services, he said. Such situations lead to living in dirty homes and not eating properly and ultimately, more frequent hospital stays costing $1,000 a day, a cycle which he called "not very good fiscal management."

He'd also like to see changes to the B.C. Building Code to make life easier for people in small ways, by mandating that power outlets be placed six inches higher on walls than they are now, for instance.

Apart from issues related to seniors and people with disabilities, Langston also opposes the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs through Burnaby, for environmental reasons.

Prior to working with the Cerebral Palsy Association, he worked for years as a banker, specializing in loans and mortgages, and for Canada Revenue Agency.

Langston was previously a member of the NDP riding executive for Burnaby-Deer Lake, which elected Kathy Corrigan in the last election. Not wanting to run against Corrigan for the nomination, he transferred his membership to Burnaby-Lougheed, he said.

He still lives in the Burnaby-Deer Lake riding, close to Metrotown. He hasn't moved to Burnaby-Lougheed, he said, largely due to the lack of availability of accessible housing.

Back in May, Dr. Jane Shin announced she was seeking the NDP nod for Burnaby-Lougheed. She was born in South Korea and raised in British Columbia. After receiving a Medical Doctorate in 2007, she has since become a faculty member in both the department of science at Vancouver Community College and the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also formerly served as acting program head in BCIT's department of health care management.

The NDP nomination meeting for Burnaby-Lougheed will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, 1 to 4 p.m. at Second Street Community School.

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