Vaughn Palmer: A voice and experience that won’t be easy to replace
VICTORIA — When New Democrat Melanie Mark took her leave of the B.C. legislature this week, she reminded the house of the painful, personal history that made her unique among MLAs.
“My parents both struggled with drug and alcohol addiction,” said Mark, whose riding included Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.“My dad died from an overdose in the DTES. My mom was homeless and struggled in the DTES for many years.
“She sobered up on my 30th birthday. She is my inspiration,” said the 47-year-old as her mother and other family members looked on from the public gallery.
“I grew up in the Skeena projects in East Vancouver. I am the product of a foster-care system,” she continued.
“I’m the first person from my family to graduate from high school and college.”
“I’m still the only First Nations woman to hold a seat in these chambers.”
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