Volume 96, Issue 89
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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Prof to duel with Cunningham

By Diana Whellams
Gazette Staff

Rebecca Coulter, a Western professor of education, has been chosen as the New Democratic Party's candidate in the riding of London North Centre.

"It was a lively campaign," Coulter said of her race against Julie Glaser, founder and co-ordinator of Western's Youth Anti-Violence Project and a representative of the London Homeless Coalition.

"I understand how difficult it is for students to pay their tuition fees," Coulter said. She said the NDP's platform for the upcoming election involves freezing tuition and rolling it back 10 per cent, as well as fully funding university education within 10 years.

"We must be fully committed to education," Coulter said, adding she felt her current position as a university professor and her previous experience as associate dean have helped her understand a variety of issues. The newly-selected candidate said she has helped students with everything from a lack of money to pay their tuition to combating the limited access to mental health services in London.

"We are deeply committed to public health [and] we're also committed to the building of public housing," Coulter said, in regards to other issues relevant to the upcoming provincial election. She indicated the NDP hope to make daycare available for $10 per day across the province and are opposed to the privatization of education or hydro.

Paris Meilleur, president of the London North Centre NDP Riding Association. Coulter's experience as a university professor enhances her credibility and will provide her with contacts within the education community.

"I think London North Centre is a very winnable riding," said Meilleur of the coming electoral contest that Coulter faces.

"There were two very strong candidates running," said Josh Morgan, University Students' Council VP-education. "I hope that Rebecca can combine her professionalism with the activism Julie brought to the campaign," he added, noting that Coulter's strengths are her organization and many supporters.

"I congratulate Rebecca on her nomination and look forward to an exciting and challenging campaign," said Dianne Cunningham, current member of provincial parliament for London North Centre and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

"Londoners well be looking for leadership that will ensure that our economy stays strong," she added.

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2002 THE GAZETTE