Assistant seeks to follow MP’s steps

Banking on his years of experience as Jean Crowder’s constituency assistant, 34-year-old Alistair MacGregor has thrown his hat into the ring, hoping to be chosen as NDP standard-bearer in the new Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding.

MacGregor, who lives with his wife Amy and their twin daughters, Arya and Anabelle, on a small acreage in North Cowichan, is ready to take up the challenge of serving the community as member of parliament.

Of course, getting to Ottawa is not like nipping down to Victoria. It’s time consuming work. As a man with a young family, he had to look hard at the idea.

"It’s going to be a difficult balancing act but we will find a way. I think with having twins and having made it this far we’re a couple that can overcome a fair amount of adversity," he said, smiling.

Until the vote to chose a candidate, MacGregor said he will be trying to spread his message and sign up new members.

"I’ve been very humbled by the messages I’ve received. I have a lot of friends said they were going to join so they could vote for me."

For MacGregor, an MP’s job is mainly about helping constituents.

"Casework has been my main role and that’s the main platform that I’m running on for this campaign. My experience. Since 2007, I’ve met hundreds of individuals and organizations and helped these people work through some incredibly complex federal problems and also lots of local issues, like the derelict vessels to name one."

Other important ideas in MacGregor’s view include a nationally funded daycare plan.

"I’ve been first hand witness to these things because, while Jean’s in Ottawa, she

depends on her staff to run her office."

Debates among the hopefuls will be scheduled and they will naturally cover NDP issues.

"We’re all on the same side politically. It’s going to be who has what it takes to face off against the Conservatives in a general election and keep this riding NDP," he said. Provincially the area in question has been a riding in the past as Malahat-Juan de Fuca, before the last redrawing of boundaries that created Bill Routley’s Cowichan Valley riding and MacGregor is ready to hit the ground running.

"The area’s always had strong NDP support. I like to say that [the Conservatives] have the money but we have the people," he said. "Our ground game is second to none. It may seem that our organization is in hibernation mode right now but you watch when an election is called. I’ve never seen campaign offices open as quickly or signs go up as fast as we put them up. It’s just thanks to our incredible membership."