The B.C. Green Party has announced Stephanie Hendy as its candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country-Coldstream in the next provincial election.
"Stephanie is a fierce advocate for community resources and services, with a keen awareness of how urban areas are often prioritized over rural areas. I am inspired by her determination to work to close this gap, and to ensure access to health care, recreation, and community support is the best it can be for her community," party leader Sonia Furstenau said in a press release.
"As someone who works with people who have chronic health conditions every day, the BC NDP's shortcomings and inconsistencies are all too obvious," says Hendy. "Health care has become divisive, unequal and unreliable in this province. People with disabilities and chronic illnesses in more rural areas are often left to fend for themselves without the support they need."
Hendy says the province's biggest cities get prime consideration in policy decisions, to the detriment of smaller centres.
"When I moved from Vancouver to the Okanagan in 2021, the gap in services became abundantly clear to me. It leaves a lot of communities without vital services to ensure their well being is looked after. Regional transit is lacking, health care services are limited and organized recreational activities are sparse. This divide needs to be addressed in the legislature."
Hendy has been involved in politics since 2015, when she began advocating to remove the age restriction from government-funded insulin pumps. Her campaign was successful in 2018, providing a vital resource to people with diabetes across the province.
"The Okanagan needs a bold climate leader to better safeguard our citizens against forest fires, drought and food insecurity with aggressive legislative reform. Our region and our planet are running out of time," says Hendy.
Hendy was born and raised in Vancouver. She has a degree in kinesiology with a focus on active health and rehabilitation from Simon Fraser University.
She sits on the Vernon Climate Action Advisory Committee and volunteers with Vernon's Climate Action Now! group and the Okanagan Transit Alliance. Stephanie has previously volunteered on local Green campaigns and with the Vancouver Tenants' Union subcommittee Rent Strike Bargain.
Hendy previously ran for council in Vernon in the 2021 byelection and 2022 election.
The next provincial election is on Oct. 19, 2024.