Lia Versaevel, a small business owner from Chemainus, has been acclaimed as the Green candidate in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding in the provincial election this spring.
Versaevel, 61, brings a wealth of experience in conflict resolution, collaborative justice, education and law enforcement, as well as advocacy for the vulnerable, to the campaign.
“Education, health care and protection of our most vulnerable citizens will be my priorities as your next MLA,” Versaevel said.
Versaevel also said that she wants to foster reconciliation with First Nations and improve health services provided by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, as well as public care for seniors, the disabled and foster children.
Versaevel has a BA in sociology and a Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria, and earned a MA in conflict analysis and management from Royal Roads University in 2007.
Versaevel has worked for system change since she first started a residential treatment centre, called Fleetwood Glen, for adolescents in Surrey in 1982.
She spent 27 years with the BC Ministry of the Attorney General as a correctional officer, peace officer, probation officer and family justice counsellor before moving to the U.S. in 2004 to work in family mediation.
On her return to Vancouver Island in 2013, Versaevel re-established her business, Accord Family Mediation Services, where she continues to offer her professional experience in conflict resolution.
Versaevel is also president of Family Meditation Canada, a board member of the Chemainus Residents’ Association, vice-president of Ladysmith’s Lions Club, and a member of the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association and of the BC Wildlife Federation.
She faces a number of candidates who have already declared their intentions to run in the provincial election, which will take place on May 9, in Nanaimo-North Cowichan.