An Abbotsford school trustee and a Deroche Fraser Valley Regional District director each want to represent the New Democratic Party for the Abbotsford-Mission riding in the upcoming provincial election.
Local NDP members vote for their choice Jan. 6 at the Mission Leisure Centre, starting at 1 p.m.
Preet Rai is in his second term as a school trustee on the board of education in Abbotsford.
“My upbringing instilled both a desire and a sense of responsibility around family, community involvement and education. It was a driving factor when I first ran for school trustee and it is the reason I am seeking nomination for MLA with the NDP in the Abbotsford-Mission riding,” said Rai.
A chartered accountant from India, Rai immigrated to the UK in 1992, where he worked for the Scottish government. He then moved to Canada in 1995 and has been working for the B.C. government since 1997.
Rai’s community involvement includes serving with the Canuck Place Campaign Executive Committee for the fundraising of the new Canuck Place Hospice being built in Abbotsford, and with Abby Fest where he organizes the volunteers. He is also the chair of the finance committee for the school district, and has been involved as a director on the Reach Board, Literacy Matters Board, Community of Character Board, Abbyfest Board, MSA Museum Board, Sister City Committee and Abbotsford Youth Commission amongst others.
Wendy Bales is a second-term FVRD director who has lived in the riding for 38 years. She has worked in forestry, and since 1985, has successfully owned and operated her own local landscape and tile business.
In the last two decades as her son has grown up, Bales has gotten more involved in community issues as well as working on committees and in forums on many regional, provincial and federal issues.
Some of the issues she has been involved include trying to save Mission’s hospital services, volunteering within the successful petitioning and rallying to stop SE2 as well as to stop the Stave Lake P3 water proposal. More recent concerns have been the oil sands bitumen pipelines and oil tanker routes though B.C.’s lands and coast.
Bales was involved in lobbying to save Deroche school as well fundraising for the school’s breakfast and lunch programs.
“I believe that our local school is an integral part of our functioning community, as most schools are. Investing in early education as well as extended education returns multiplied values economically as well as in benefits for a more holistic society,” she said.