One in a series of profiles of first-time Vancouver candidates in the May 9 provincial election.
Madeline Lalonde, the New Democratic Party candidate in Vancouver-Quilchena, is an information technology recruiter. She is a 2016 graduate in sociology from the University of British Columbia, where she began her work with the NDP. She is a former co-chairwoman and fundraising director of the BC Young New Democrats.
Q: Why pursue public life now?
A: The most important thing is that I’m in this rare hybrid area in my life where I’ve just graduated university and know about all the struggles and frustrations that go with that, and I’ve just entered the workforce and have been dealing with those frustrating things. I got fed up. It’s time for change for me and someone had to stand up.
Q: What draws you to run?
A: I just care a lot. I want to work for other people. I want to work for making voices heard. I think, especially being a young person, our voices are not heard in the legislature. Those voices need to be heard as well.
Q: If you had to pick a couple of issues that you would stand up for, which ones would they be?
A: My issues have always been around post-secondary education and increasing access to [it], increasing access and funding to mental health services – that’s something that’s impacted me on a personal level. And then housing. Everyone deserves a right to live somewhere.
Q: What are your apprehensions about running?
A: A lot of my apprehensions are things that I’ve already faced. Being discounted as a young person is definitely the first thing that I’ve seen, which is disheartening because I think it’s important to have young people, it’s important to have fresh new faces and fresh new ideas. And then the other would be, as a woman, some of the struggles that we have to deal with on top of the others. I’m already getting weird Facebook messages from men, comments on my appearance, things like that. It’s a barrier to wanting to run, but it’s worth it to me. I can take that on and try and absorb it as much as possible.
Q: What are your ambitions?
A: I just want to see change in B.C. I think we’ve had too much of the BC Liberals. Sixteen years is certainly too long for any party to be in power, and I really believe our core messages and values of the BC NDP.
Q: What are the principal demands of the electorate that need to be satisfied?
I think just making life more affordable. People are definitely getting fed up that we’re catering to the top 2%, that we’re catering to companies. They just want a fair and accountable government.
Q: What happens if you don’t win?
A: I want to keep fighting. I want to keep pushing.