Rhonda Chen is running for the People’s Party of Canada in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding in the federal election on Oct. 21.
Chen is the sixth candidate to throw her hat in the ring to represent the riding in the election.
She joins NDP incumbent Alistair MacGregor, the Conservative Party’s Alana DeLong, the Liberal’s Blair Herbert, the Green’s Lydia Hwitsum, and the Christian Heritage Party’s Robin Stanbridge in the race.
It’s her first time running for office at any political level, and she said she’s looking forward to getting out in the riding, meeting the people and getting a sense of what the local issues and concerns are.
“I came to Canada from Shanghai in China as a student and really liked the democracy and the freedoms Canada offers,” Chen said.
“One of my major concerns is the attempts by some of the other parties to restrict free speech. There’s so many taboo subjects that you can’t even touch these days. We should be able to intelligently discuss immigration, for example, but if you said something outside of what some of the parties accept, you’re considered politically incorrect.”
Chen said she agrees with 99 per cent of the PPC’s platform, and that she feels that the party’s vision is the way she would like the country to be run.
“I agree with freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect for everyone,” she said.
“I think there’s always room for new parties and new ideas in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford and all the other ridings. There’s so many voices that are not being heard and the PPC and I are ready to really listen.”
Chen said she will be spending a lot of time in the riding in the lead up to the election talking to people and participating in political debates.
“I want to see what people are thinking and determine the best solutions to the issues,” she said.
“I am a little scared though. We’ve had two of our signs on the highway damaged or stolen over the weekend and I’m concerned about that.”