North Island-Powell River’s MP is adding to her parliamentary duties.
Rachel Blaney has been appointed as the federal NDP’s Critic for Seniors, Veterans… and Rural Economic Development.
Leaders Jagmeet Singh made the announcement today.
Blaney now has three portfolios in addition to returning to her role as party Whip.
She will continue to serve as Critic for Veterans Affairs, which she has done since 2019. The federal NDP says that in this role, Blaney “has fought to eliminate the backlog for veterans benefit applications and worked to end the discriminatory ‘gold-digger clause’ which punishes veterans who marry after 60.
Blaney also resumes the role of spokesperson for seniors issues, which she held from 2017 to 2019.
According to the NDP, she introduced a private members bill in 2019 (C-449) that would have prevented low income seniors from losing their benefits if they are late in filing their tax returns and has held numerous townhalls and advocacy events for seniors during her two previous terms as MP.
Rural Economic Development is a new portfolio for Blaney, but one she has long advocated for as the MP for B.C.’s third largest riding.
The NDP notes that last fall, she introduced motion M-53: Principles for a Sustainable and Equitable Future to recognize the economic contribution of rural communities and ensure that they be included equitably in all federal recovery programs and funding.
She also led a campaign to locate an office of the newly formed Pacific Economic Development Canada (Pacifican) in the riding of North Island-Powell River.
In August Mélanie Joly (then Minister of Economic Development, now Minister of Foreign Affairs) confirmed that Campbell River would be the site of one of eight offices in BC.
“These three portfolios address issues that matter to our communities and the people I represent. They are also areas where our federal government can and must do better to support the people who have built this country,” said Blaney. “I’m looking forward to working hard on these files to get results for people in our region and all across Canada.”