The Langford women who first entered the public spotlight by petitioning the provincial legislature over health care now wants to take a seat in it.
Camille Currie, founder and organizer of BC Health Care Matters, will be running for the BC Greens in the impending by-election for the now-vacant riding once held by former B.C. NDP premier John Horgan. The party made the announcement Thursday (April 6) at a news conference in a hotel not far from the legislature.
Currie is the first to declare candidacy.
Horgan stepped down as MLA for Langford Juan-de Fuca on March 31 after a long career in elected politics, including more than five years as B.C.’s premier.
Horgan represented the riding and its predecessors from 2005 until last month, having won almost 68 per cent of the vote in 2020. The riding has predominently leaned New Democratic over the years.
But Currie sounded unfazed by the task ahead in stressing her local roots as a long-time resident of Langford, who has made the riding the centre of her personal and professional life.
Currie said residents of the riding “need and deserve” a member in the Legislative Assembly who puts constituents first.
“I can be that MLA,” she told Black Press Media.
Currie also stressed her credentials as an advocate for health care, pointing to her role in the creation of BC Health Care Matters.
“I’m an individual who faces challenges head on, jumps to action and perseveres to bring about change,” she said. “That is why I am running.”
Currie started the organization after her family lost their family physician in January 2022. This loss led to a petition to the provincial legislature and the founding of the advocacy group.
While health care is a right for all, it has become a privilege of the few, Currie said Experts estimate one-in-five British Columbians lack access to a family doctor of their own.
BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said she cannot wait to work with Currie in the legislature.
Currie’s appointment is the latest in a series of candidate announcements for the Greens. On April 4, the party announced Jeremy Valeriote as its candidate in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky. Valeriote would have nearly joined Furstenau and BC Green House Leader Adam Olsen in the legislature following the 2020 provincial election. While he had initially won the riding, a judicial recount found him 60 votes behind Jordan Stourdy of the BC Liberals.
On March 30, the BC Greens announced Christina Winter as the candidate for Victoria Swan-Lake.
In January, deputy-leader Dr. Lisa Gunderson became the party’s nominee for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, a riding previously held by former BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver, who helped to negotiate the confidence-and-supply agreement that made Horgan premier in 2017 as head of a minority government. Weaver has since publicly broken with the BC Greens.
Currie becomes the latest BC Green with a background in health care to publicly represent the party. Dr. Sanjiv Gandhi, a long-time surgeon with B.C. Children’s Hospital, became the party’s second deputy leader on Jan. 23, joining Gunderson, a clinical psychologist.
If personnel is policy, it raises the question of whether the BC Greens are heading in a different direction. Furstenau said the party’s platform has always been well-rounded. While she acknowledged the medical background of Gunderson and Gandhi as well as Currie’s involvement as a health care advocate, they cannot be reduced to specific issues. They are instead proven change-makers, she said.