Harmony Johnson-Harder vows to be a voice for the marginalized in campaign kickoff speech

Prince Albert NDP candidate Harmony Johnson-Harder speaks to supporters at her campaign office grand opening on Sept. 19, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Prince Albert NDP candidate Harmony Johnson-Harder began her election campaign with an office grand opening on Thursday evening.

She was announced on Saturday as the city’s NDP candidate for the federal election.

In her brief speech at the office opening, located at 2860 Second Avenue West, Johnson-Harder thanked the roughly 30 people present for their support.

“I’m just really blown away and honoured that everyone’s here to support me in running and seeing all these faces here and supporting the NDP values of giving back and taking care of people. That’s what it’s about,” she said.

“We see too much marginalization, too (many) hardships. We walk around our own city here and we can see how everything’s affecting people and that’s my main motivator—is to be that voice, to advocate for people and having you here really gives me that motivation.”

In an interview after her speech, Johnson-Harder said there is a lack of social supports in Prince Albert.

“When you walk around our community, you can see there’s a huge gap and there’s marginalization,” she said. “We need to be stronger and we need to be advocates and we need to really fight for those people and have a voice for them to get them on equal footing, make things fair.”

She emphasized that she wants the public to be informed on the party’s platform prior to voting.

“We’re moving forward advocating for expanded healthcare, taxing larger corporations and holding those larger corporations accountable to pay their taxes, housing, childcare. I want the public to really do their research and really think about what’s important to them.”

Johnson-Harder said the NDP is “tired of corporations” and “tired of the rhetoric.”

According to the NDP’s website, the party is committed to expanding public healthcare, including dentistry and pharmacare, and ensuring it’s accessible to everyone, confronting the opioid crisis and tackling poverty.

When it comes to reconciliation, commitments include affordable housing, advancing self-determination and closing the education gap.

Another aspect of the NDP’s platform is environmental: protecting the country’s land and water, investing in transit to lower carbon emissions and ultimately address climate change.