Local NDP candidate concerned about labour market


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April 23, 2015 8:15 AM

The NDP candidate for Vermilion-Lloydminster, Saba Mossagizi, said she is surprised by the amount of support the party has been getting in Lloydminster and said campaigning has been hectic “but in a good way.”

Regarding the early election, she said the NDP seem a bit more prepared than some other parties, but they still wish they had more time to get things ready.

“It was a frustration that we weren’t able to get our ducks in a row as much as we could have if they had stuck to the pre-decided date. It’s just a little bit crazy right now. It’s unexpected and it’s busy,” she said.

“We have some great volunteers at the NDP offices, so they’ve been doing a lot of door knocking. I’ve been contacting anybody who is interested in volunteering with us. To be honest, nobody thought Lloydminster would be an area where so many people would be interested in the NDP.”

The Edmonton native has a degree in political science and is a union representative with United Food and Commercial Workers where she works in employee management relations. She also has a history with organizations that help at-risk youth join the labour market through work placement partnerships.

Given this background, some of the issues she is concerned with involve what she considers bad policy in the labour market and job creation for the province’s young people.

“I graduated in a time when the recession was just hitting and I could sort of see people struggle after doing everything that we were all told we were supposed to do and then there still not being work. It’s frustrating.”

Another concern of her’s is the treatment of temporary foreign workers (TFW) in the province. She says TFWs are scared to speak out about their rights because the consequences for them are so high. Mossagizi said the NDP are under the position that if someone is good enough to work here, they should be good enough to stay without fear of being terminated for bringing up their rights.

Mossagizi was drawn to the NDP for a number of reasons and feels it’s the most relatable party for her in terms of policy and ideology. She said they are a well-rounded party and their ideology isn’t directed to benefit a specific demographic but for everyone.

She says her background in working with labourers, homeless youth, new Canadians and other groups that her opponents may have less experience with makes her a good person to vote for.

“I think my background is pretty different than most other candidates. Like I said, I graduated right in the heart of the recession. I work with workers now, before I worked with homeless youth, newcomers, refugees, various stuff like that where I feel I have a good touch with middle- to low-income households here in Alberta and I’m not sure a lot of other candidates can say that.”

Anyone who wishes to reach Mossagizi can contact her at sabamossagizi@albertandp.ca.

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