There are now four confirmed candidates seeking to become Delta’s Member of Parliament.
Long-time North Delta community activist Monika Dean has been announced as the NDP candidate for the riding.
She joins incumbent Liberal candidate Carla Qualtrough, Garry Shearer for the Conservatives and Jeremy Smith for the Greens.
Dean said her decision to seek the federal seat has a lot to do with her dad.
“My dad is 86 and he’s always inspired me to do the right thing – he’s where I get my caring from,” said Dean. “When I asked him what he would do if I ran, he said he would be so proud. He’s the reason I’m doing this.”
Dean, 32, grew up in a blended and mixed-race family with five siblings. Her dad is a retired United Church minister and her Philippines-born mom is a retired registered nurse.
She learned early on the importance of social justice and caring about other people.
She also learned the importance of protecting the natural environment, which led her to pursue a career in environmental science.
“I feel strongly about protecting our ecology and understanding the impact that we as humans have on our environment,” she said.
An arborist by profession, Dean works for the City of Surrey and has also held various volunteer roles with her union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 402.
While she was content for a number of years to advance social justice issues away from the political spotlight, that changed in 2016 when she experienced a violent crime. After being victimized, Dean was forced onto a roadside, in distress. Rather than assist Dean, a passerby crossed the street to avoid her and kept going.
“It was a bit of an epiphany,” Dean said. “I thought that if this could happen to me, it could happen to anybody. There are people who are so much more vulnerable than me – disenfranchised people who don’t have a voice, seniors, people struggling with mental health and homelessness – there is no way I can turn my back on them.”
Being mixed race with a Filipino mother, Dean has also experienced racial inequality.
She sees her values reflected in the federal NDP platform and lauds the work of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to bring attention to issues that are important to everyday Canadians, like being able to pay for prescription medication, find employment that supports a family and access affordable childcare.“Jagmeet Singh instills so much confidence and hope in me, and for the future of Canadians,” said Dean. “He understands the importance of balancing the economy with the well-being of Canadians and the need to protect the natural environment. He isn’t working for the ultra-rich, he’s working for regular people.”