Sudbury

Sudbury NDP selects Beth Mairs as federal candidate

The New Democratic Party in Sudbury has named Beth Mairs as its candidate for the Sudbury riding in the upcoming federal election.

Candidates gearing up for election as writ drop nears

The NDP has selected Beth Mairs as the candidate in the Sudbury riding for the upcoming federal election. She will be trying to unseat incumbent Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

The New Democratic Party in Sudbury has named Beth Mairs as its candidate for the Sudbury riding in the upcoming federal election.

Mairs was acclaimed at a party meeting Thursday night.

Mairs, a former social worker, is the organizer of the Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-Op in Sudbury. She describes herself as a "social democrat" who wants to ensure a strong social safety net in Canada.

"We have to have people who are committed to sharing the wealth that we have as a country so that we don't have the income disparities that we have now," Mairs said. "So that's extremely important to me and that's the platform that I feel most aligned with."

Mairs arrived in Sudbury in the early nineties from southern Ontario, where she said she was "recovering from burnout" after years in the field of social work.

She began Wild Women Expeditions, a small eco-tour canoeing business before focussing on the Co-Op, which has allowed her to bring "stories that matter" to the city.

In her new role as politician, Mairs said one of the stories she is hearing from people is one of accountability and change.

"They want to have people in political positions that will fight for the people and not just reinforce the power of big business," Mairs said. "And that's a huge theme and I think that's something that resonates in Sudbury."

She also described the current relationship between elected officials and Sudburians as "parochial."

"We have someone representing Ottawa that comes and shows up every now and again with cheques...I think what I would represent is a different brand of politics, a different paradigm, where we have an activist Member of Parliament," she said. "Someone who is speaking up and out for Sudbury and Northern Ontario on a regular basis."

To get voters on board, Mairs said she would work with community leaders and politicians of all levels for a more "equitable and healthy city."

"That's how I would apply myself. Roll my sleeves up and get involved and use the position to that effect for the greatest good."

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