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Green candidate selected for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca

A Sooke resident has stepped forward to represent the Green Party in the federal Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding.

Shaunna Salsman, 32, became the party's candidate on Monday – the only applicant for the position vacated by Brian Gordon who ran for the Green Party in the 2008 election.

A longtime Green Party voter, Salsman said she contacted the party after recognizing there was a need to provide a voice for middle-class families at the federal level.

Salsman once worked as a tradesperson in automotive repair and finishing, before becoming a full-time mother of two.

Her experience includes serving as treasurer of the All Sooke Arts and Crafts Association, and as a past president of Metchosin Technical Centre's parent advisory council.

"I've always been very politically motivated," said Salsman who, as a youngster, dreamed of one day growing up to become prime minister.

"I may be lacking in experience, but I don't lack knowledge on the issues."

Her top priorities include promoting local jobs and securing federal support to address the transportation issues in the traffic-congested region.

Without a Green Party riding association for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Salsman will be conducting her own campaign without funding.

The association dissolved after the last federal election, and there are no plans to build it up again in the event a federal election is called in the coming weeks, said Rob Hines, Green Party senior organizer for B.C., the Northwest Terroritories and Atlantic Canada.

After the 2008 federal election and prior to the 2009 provincial election, constituency organizers threw their time and energy into supporting B.C. Green Party leader Jane Sterk, a former Esquimalt municipal councillor.

"It's simply pooling of resources," said Hines, who is involved in the candidate screening and endorsement process. "Our focus (right now) is on ensuring our candidates and their campaigns are ready."

emccracken@vicnews.com

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