NDP selects Crowder’s right hand to carry the torch

Alistair MacGregor: MP's constituency assistant wins NDP nomination for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding

After nearly eight years serving as Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder’s constituency assistant

Alistair MacGregor has been Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder’s right hand in Duncan for the past eight years.

She has been his boss, his mentor and his inspiration as he took the lead role helping local residents whenever she was serving in Ottawa.

Now he will take her torch.

Crowder’s 35-year-old constituency assistant was selected to be the NDP candidate for the new Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding Sunday, outlasting five others to claim the role in a vote that occurred simultaneously in Duncan and Langford.

He feels working with Crowder has him well-prepared for the job.

“Her best words of advice were ‘remember who you represent.’ I am taking that to heart,” he said during an interview Monday in Duncan. “I know everything an MP does. I learned from the best.”

Like Crowder, MacGregor was raised an army brat. Like Crowder, he is from Cowichan, calling the Duncan area home for the past 24 years. Like Crowder, he feels it is job one to be there working for every resident of the community.

“There were days I would come out of that (constituency) office absolutely wrecked because the government didn’t seem to care,” he said.

MacGregor has a degree from the University of Victoria in political science and a masters from Royal Roads in professional communication. His political ambitions awoke early.

“It started day one from working in the MP office. That’s when I caught the bug.”

His candidacy is the first confirmed for a new riding, merging those parts of Nanaimo-Cowichan south of Ladysmith with the north end of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

When the riding split was announced, he had originally thought he would pursue a seat in whatever seat the well-respected Crowder decided not to pursue.

But when she ultimately decided to retire at the end of this term after being elected four times to Parliament Hill, he figured the riding that included his hometown would be the best choice.

While Duncan and south-Nanaimo are thought of as traditional NDP strongholds, Langford has more of a free enterprise identity. According to MacGregor, a breakdown that applied votes cast in the most recent election to the new configuration saw the NDP winning the new riding by just 253 votes.

Confident of his presence in the Duncan area, he realizes he’s got some work to do in the Langford end.

However, Langford is home to lots of young working families. As father to twins and husband to a working mother, he thinks forging a connection should come naturally.

A national daycare plan is high on his priority list, as is a national housing strategy. He wants to build a plan that can help the country effectively make a slow transition from an oil-based economy. And he said economic strength and stability is paramount.

“If people and families don’t have economic security, the other issues don’t matter.”

He said a lot of younger people share the values of the NDP but are not necessarily active for the party at the ballot box. Part of his mission is making them understand their vote can make a difference.

“I don’t really think the NDP needs to change its values. I want to change the nature of the conversation,” he said. “I want to ask people if they are really happy with itty-bitty tax cuts that really don’t benefit you.”

He credits his selection to 11 months of direct contact with the voters, where he demonstrated his work ethic and his level of care. It’s a philosophy he plans to bring to a wider stage as we approach a federal election scheduled to be held on or before Oct. 19.

“Being elected, you’ve got to earn it,” he said. “Actions speak louder than words. They always will.”

The Green Party is expected to elect a candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford on Friday. Selection dates for the Liberals and the Conservatives have yet to be announced.

Just Posted

Crews repair damage after Tuesday night water main break in Langford

Flooding resulted in property damage, forced evacuation from Langford homes

Two missing Victoria children found safe

VicPD responded to two separate missing children calls Tuesday

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

UPDATED: Langford homes evacuated after water main break

Break at the corner of Goldstream Avenue and Strathmore Road, several homes without water

Snow not melting fast enough for some Greater Victoria residents

Resident unhappy with lack of snow removal on Mount Doug trails

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Most Read