#IamLinda: Woman says her grocery store spat with B.C. premier gave 'voice to people'
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 5:45PM EDT
The B.C. woman whose seven-second encounter with Premier Christy Clark took social media by storm last week says all she was looking for was an opportunity to engage the Liberal leader on election issues.
Linda Higgins became an online provincial politics sensation after introducing herself to Clark at campaign stop inside a North Vancouver grocery store.
“Hi Christy, I’m Linda,” she said. “I would never vote for you.”
The Sunshine Coast resident began to explain why when she was cut off by Clark, who walked away saying: “You don’t have to. That’s why we live in a democracy.”
"Thank goodness," Higgins replied as Clark was leaving. "Hopefully you won't get elected in."
The Twitter hashtag #IamLinda has since become an online rallying point for people in the province to express their frustration with the long-governing Liberals.
The incident took place just days before what is expected to be a tight provincial election. Clark’s party is seeking its fifth straight governing mandate. The NDP opposition under John Horgan is looking for its first win since 1996.
“I just wanted to tell her about my concerns, and why I wasn’t going to vote for her,” Higgins told CTV News Channel on Tuesday. “What she could have said is, ‘I understand you have concerns about my party and its platform. I can’t talk to you right now. But perhaps I can have my candidate in your area speak to you about the issues. Or, give me your number and I will have somebody call you back.’”
Clark’s supporters have responded to the surge of online criticism with accusations that Higgins was sent by the NDP to disrupt the April 27 grocery store meet-and-greet.
Higgins claims she did not know about the appearance until moments beforehand, and said she was only speaking for herself.
The long-time Gibson, B.C. resident said she hopes the confrontation will continue to foster debate ahead of the May 9 vote, and notes her family and community have been “very supportive” since her blunt chat with the premier.
“They know I will speak my mind if I get an opportunity,” she said. “I was not on Twitter before, but I am reading what people are tweeting. It’s educational for me to find out the concerns that people have. Not just my concerns. I think it (the hashtag) has given a voice to people.”
#iamlinda because the Liberal gov has dissected the services for Adults with Special Needs with no promises of improvement.— Chris Jarl (@wacokid88) May 2, 2017
Please, Christy Clark. Chat with #IAmLinda directly. Maybe you can explain to her and all of us why she's wrong.— Captain Suburb (@CaptainSuburb) May 2, 2017
I'm a parent and a teacher who fought Christy's illegal law and cutbacks. Still waiting for an apology #IamLinda— Tanya Stevenson (@spedteacher1996) May 2, 2017