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Former councillor eyes NDP run

Prince George Citizen

A former city councillor is hoping to make the leap from municipal to provincial politics.
Debora Munoz, who sat as a member of Prince George city council for two terms between 2005 and 2011, has joined the B.C. New Democratic Party nomination race for the Nechako Lakes riding.
So far she stands against labour activist Sussanne Skidmore-Hewlett for the nomination to challenge incumbent B.C. Liberal John Rustad.
"I believe I understand the issues in the riding and one of my greatest strengths, I believe, is my ability to connect with people from all sectors," said Munoz, who cited her experience with connecting with MLAs, MPs, business and industry leaders, Northern Health, First Nations and labour affiliates.
Munoz called the step into the provincial arena a "natural transition" and that the core values of the B.C. NDP align with her own.
"I'm dedicated to the cause, I'm committed to public service and I certainly wanted to put my name forward," she said. "I think this a certainly an election where the people of British Columbia are looking for positive changes."
Raised in northern New Brunswick, Munoz has spent the past 34 years as a health sciences professional. She currently works at University Hospital of Northern B.C. as a clinical neurophysiology technologist.
She said one of the concerns of the Nechako Lakes residents is their access to health care and related services.
"In Burns Lake and Fort St. James, they've experienced a shortage of doctors, nurses and other allied health care workers," Munoz said.
"Debora Munoz has been a long-time advocate in support of publicly-funded, affordable and accessible health care and health-care services for all British Columbians," said Heather Sapergia, a director with the Health Sciences Association of B.C. "Should she be successful in winning the nomination for NDP candidate in the next provincial election I have full confidence that she will represent the constituents of Nechako Lakes very well."
Forestry and the health of the forest industry are also a major concern for potential constituents and Munoz said she wants to work towards helping close the equality gap for rural and remote areas.
"Often, not a lot of the same opportunities are made available to rural and remote corners of B.C.," Munoz said, who draws on her upbringing on an organic farm in a pulp mill town out east. "Yet a lot of the revenue that's generated to the province comes from the extraction and exploitation of the natural resource sector from the land base in the North."
So far, no date for an NDP nomination meeting has been set.
"I feel I have certainly the passion, the leadership skills and the governance experience to be a very effective MLA if I'm chosen to run as the NDP candidate," said Munoz.
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