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CUPE NB vice-president Sandy Harding is running as an NDP candidate for Saint John East in the New Brunswick provincial election.

For the past few years, CUPE activist Sandy Harding stood on the steps of the New Brunswick legislature on many occasions asking for better working conditions for the province’s education support staff. Now, she believes the time has come to stand in the legislature to advocate the same for all New Brunswickers.

People kept on asking why I wanted to go into politics with five young children at home. The answer is quite simple: I’m running so my children will have a better future in this province,” said Harding.

Harding said she stood so many times on those steps thinking the job of an MLA is to listen to the needs, concerns and the wants of their constituents and act on those and truly represent their constituency.

That’s exactly what I want to be, a strong voice for the working families.”

When Harding embraces a cause, she devotes night and day to it. In the past, she has led province-wide campaigns to bring to the forefront the working condition of the education support staff. Last spring, she did not hesitate to go on a five‑day hunger strike with her bargaining committee. Sandy and her bargaining team set up a camp in Fredericton and went on a hunger strike – asking residents to bring in donations for the food banks.

Sandy brings the same mindset to her campaign. “I know that many families are struggling to make ends meet in my hometown of Saint John and all over New Brunswick. Many working families have to go to the food bank to feed their kids. Thousands of workers have gone out West, leaving their families behind to survive.”

We need to come up with an effective job creation strategy and also to reinvest in public services. Over the years, we have seen our hospitals close their doors, drastic cuts to the education system and social services. As a mother of five and a member of the board of directors of the New Brunswick Child Care Coalition, I know firsthand how important it is to have access to public child care centres no matter where you live in this province.

Another reason why I decided to make the jump into politics is also because women are underrepresented in the Legislature. I hope to change that.”

Sandy has been a tireless voice for labour and education as the provincial president of CUPE Local 2745, vice-president of CUPE NB and a member of the CUPE National Executive Board.

How you can help

Without a supporting team a successful election likely won’t happen. Any offer of help to a candidate you support is welcome, so volunteer to work on a candidate’s campaign. That can include door-to-door campaigning; phone bank assistance; talking to your work colleagues about supporting the candidate; reminding your colleagues, family and friends to cast their ballot on election day; or having a sign on your lawn or window. Finally, any financial contribution (from an individual CUPE member) to a candidate’s campaign is appreciated.

Make sure you vote on September 27!

Political Action Profiles