Courtenay-Alberni candidate profile: Susan Farlinger, Liberal Party of Canada

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Long-time resident of central Vancouver Island and retired public servant Susan Farlinger is the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate for the Courtenay-Alberni riding in the 2021 federal election.

Farlinger has worked in senior positions in Aboriginal Fisheries, Fish Habitat and Enhancement and Resource Management with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as well as serving as the regional director of Natural Resources Canada’s Pacific Forestry Centre. Before retiring in 2016, she was assistant deputy minister and Pacific regional director general for the DFO.

Farlinger said she has experience bringing people together and listening.

“No matter what the context is, there are always people with very different views, impacts you don’t know and understand and that kind of experience is very much the kind of thing that can be helpful in a political climate,” she said. Farlinger added she found herself aligned with the Liberals because of her background in science.

“People in this riding are concerned about the kinds of things that you expect across the country, but of course very particular to this riding,” she said.

“These communities are growing at an enormous rate and people are talking about that and they’re talking about things like how can I afford a house, are my kids going to come back here?”

Farlinger said so far this campaign she has heard from voters concerned about the cost of housing, the challenges of starting a new business, senior care improvements and climate change. She said the Liberals’ comprehensive approach to addressing social issues made her decide to run for the party.

“It’s not just a band-aid on a problem, it’s an approach, for example, on climate change that goes from international to interprovincial. The first time we’ve had an interprovincial agreement Canada-wide on emissions,” she said.

Building lasting reconciliation and implementing $10/day daycare are also important to Farlinger.

“What I would like to see changed is women being able to go back to work and have affordable childcare, so that families can have some hope of creating a decent living and income here on the Island.”

In her spare time Farlinger volunteers with Errington Therapeutic Riding Association and Nanoose Family Services and is a member of the Oceanside 100 Women Who Care.

Election Day is set for Sept. 20.

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