Lakeland voters will have an NDP candidate on their list of choices this election, as newcomer Desiree Bissonnette has joined the race.

Bissonnette has lived in the Lloydminster community since her childhood, and at 26, is a younger candidate in this election. She is a support worker helping a person with disabilities in the community, and before that spent time in local retail and foodservice industries. Bissonnette has also been active in social causes around the Lakeland as well.

Bissonnette says she wants to be a voice for change on behalf of workers and working-class people if elected, a passion she explains she developed in experiences in her employment.

“I was working 60 hours a week, making 15 dollars an hour and still struggling between my two jobs, and my co-workers, some of whom were younger than I am, were struggling worse than I was. It just made me frustrated to see that there’s no change, that politicians are focused on helping themselves out, and their friends out.”

Bissonnette explains that also among concepts she’d be looking to tackle if elected include a fairer system for Indigenous rights, employment reform and more housing assessability for the younger generation especially as well.

“I would love to see a future where someone like me could afford to buy a home, or if I decide I don’t want to purchase a home and I want to continue renting, where I’m not spending all of my income on rent, and I’m not spending all of my income on utilities, and making sure I have a place to live. I believe housing is a human right, and that’s something I really want to focus on as an MP.”

She notes that climate change reform is especially important to her as well, and she says she believes there are ways to protect the planet while supporting the workers in the agriculture industry, through things like regenerative agriculture, for example.

She also says an energy industry that focuses on renewables, while getting current oil and gas workers involved and able to continue supporting their lives and families, is a key priority.

“One of my priorities is making sure that people who are working in energy sector jobs, and specifically the labourers who are seeing the bulk of all of the downfall as the oilfield is changing, [is] getting them jobs in renewables, getting them access to training, getting them compatible wages and having a long-term sustainable energy sector.”

Bissonnette is on the ballot with incumbent Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs, Liberal Candidate John Turvey, the Maverick Party’s Fred Sirrett, The Green Party’s Kira Brunner and Ann McCormack of the People’s Party of Canada.