NDP nominates candidate in key swing riding of Mountainview

New Democrats in Mountainview met Monday night to nominate Michelle Friesen as the riding’s candidate for the 2021 territorial election. The riding was a close race in 2016, with the NDP coming up just 7 votes shy, and promises to be a hotly contested battle in the next election.

“I love where I live and I’m proud of how our community has come together to keep each other safe in the pandemic,” said Friesen. “But I also know that the sacrifices people have made are having a real impact on their health, physical and mental. I hope to end the stigma attached to mental health and make services more accessible so everyone can get the care they need when they need it – not just the few who can afford it now.”

“If we’re going to get through this together, we need stronger healthcare services that work for people at every stage of life. Kate White is the leader who’s going to deliver that. I’m excited to be the voice for Mountainview on her team as we work to improve the services that matter to people.”

Mountainview New Democrats met virtually on Monday to choose a candidate in a nomination race between Friesen and fellow activist Ashley Cummings. Cummings spoke before votes were counted to announce she would be throwing her support behind Friesen.

“I’m putting my wholehearted support behind Michelle,” said Cummings. “I am honoured to hold up another powerful Indigenous woman, and I am honoured to have been held up by her as well. It has been amazing hearing about and witnessing the work Michelle puts into supporting her friends, family, and community and I have no doubt in my mind that she will do Mountainview justice in representing our beautiful home.”

“I’m grateful to Ashley for stepping forward and showing other youth and Indigenous women that their voices matter,” said Friesen. “She’s a passionate advocate and I’m excited to keep working with her to make life better for people in Mountainview.”

Michelle Friesen is the founder of ShredHers, a women’s mountain biking program she started to give women a place to focus on their mental health and wellness during the pandemic. She has worked in the past with the Government of Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) and is currently on leave from her work with the Yukon Region of the Assembly of First Nations.

“People want to know that the care they need is going to be accessible to them where they need it, when they need it. Right now, they’re just not getting that from government,” said Yukon NDP Leader Kate White. “Michelle has shown her commitment to the health of people in her community. We’re going to work to make healthcare easier to access for everyone.”