On Wednesday evening the federal Liberal party chose Madeleine Hardin to run as the party’s candidate for the Abbotsford riding in the looming election.
Hardin has been a 10-year Liberal party member, and secretary of Abbotsford’s Liberal riding association Musleh Hakki said she was an easy choice.
“She’s the most capable person, she’s well liked in the community, and she stands for family values,” he said.
Hardin is perhaps best known locally as a teacher of communication and media studies at UFV, where she has been for 20 years.
She is no stranger to the campaign trail – she worked at CBC TV News in Vancouver as a researcher and publicist, and says she enjoyed covering federal and provincial elections.
“There’s always the hopefulness for change, and getting something better,” she said.
Hardin looks forward to the political discourse of an election campaign, and said the public needs to be made more aware of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s scandals.
She points to the potential charges of contempt of Parliament over Harper’s government stonewalling the costs of the Conservative law and order agenda, and also the allegations of improper election spending in the In-and-Out scandal.
“I’m not sure he’s a leader anyone can trust,” she said. “Canadians seem to be in a cocoon, not knowing abut these things.”
She would also like to explode the “myth” that Conservatives are good financial managers. She notes that Harper inherited a $16 billion surplus from the Liberal party when he took office, and has turned it into a $40 billion deficit. And the deficits began even before the global economic downturn, which Conservatives use to excuse their massive deficit budgets, she said.
Among her career highlights:
- Led a campaign that raised $6 million for the Arctic Canada Exhibit at the Vancouver Public Aquarium
- Raised more than $125,000 to restore and refurbish the 1905 Clayburn Schoolhouse located on Wright Street in Abbotsford
- Volunteered with the Xa:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre in Mission
- Co-ordinated the campaign that raised $2.5 million to establish the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies and the BC Regional Innovation Chair on Canada-India Business and Economic Development at UFV
- Chair of the University College Council, the precursor to the UFV Senate
- Member of the UCFV Board of Governors
- Invited by Abbotsford City Council to be on a steering committee to envision a new art gallery and museum. Hardin actively lobbied for $10 million as part of “Plan A” to build and open the new Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford. In 2008 she became one of the inaugural members of the board of The Reach. She remains on the board today.