Building on her background as an award-winning non-profit professional, Rachel Blaney was elected in 2015 as Member of Parliament for North Island—Powell River.
Rachel holds the role of Critic for Seniors and Deputy Critic for Infrastructure and Communities for the NDP.
In advocating for seniors who were separated due to health issues and faced with poverty due to a lack of ability to access the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Rachel collaborated with the Minister to successfully close this gap. After holding 11 town halls on Seniors issues in her riding, she has become a strong advocate for a National Seniors Strategy. On the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA), Rachel is currently advocating to ensure the implementation of a National Seniors Strategy.
In her work as the Deputy Critic of Infrastructure and Communities, Rachel has been outspoken on her concerns with the Privatization Infrastructure Bank.
A repeat panelist on CTV’s Power Play, Rachel has brought forth multiple issues facing Canadians. Her focus remains on the smaller, rural and remote communities like the one she represents in North Island – Powell River.
In her recent work with local business communities around the Small Business Tax, Rachel raised her concerns with the unintended consequences of this policy in small, rural and remote communities. Rachel is currently drafting a document outlining the concerns raised in her riding for the Finance Minister. “In our region, where the resource industry has taken so many hits, small businesses have really become the backbone of our economy. This small business tax could impact that, especially in many of our communities where attracting Doctors is becoming increasingly hard. Government must collaborate with small communities, not forget them.”
Rachel has lived and worked in coastal communities for over 20 years. Prior to her election as Member of Parliament, Rachel was the Executive Director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre of North Vancouver Island. The Centre grew seven-fold under her leadership, expanding services throughout the North Island—and twice winning the Chamber of Commerce’s Not-for-Profit of the Year award. In that role, Rachel was constantly seeking new ways to help make communities stronger and more welcoming. Highlights include her work on the Conference Board of Canada’s Leadership Roundtable on Immigration and on the Campbell River Social Planning Committee.
As a passionate advocate for responsible development that helps smaller communities thrive, Rachel believes we can build a stronger local economy by supporting small business, protecting our environment and engaging in meaningful dialogue with First Nations.
Rachel’s husband, Darren Blaney, is the current Chief of the Homalco First Nation. Rachel has a step-daughter and two sons and is the proud grandmother of three beautiful step-grandchildren.