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New Okanagan BC United candidates confident of election win

Candidates from Coldstream to Penticton were on hand to speak with party members at a West Kelowna event
BC United leader Kevin Falcon speaks at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon Jun. 27, 2022. (Photo/Gary Barnes)

BC United party faithful met most of the new Okanagan candidates during an event at the West Kelowna Yacht Club on June 19. 

Hopefuls covering ridings from Coldstream to Penticton were on hand to speak with party members.

Pavneet Singh/Kelowna-Lake Country-Coldstream

Singh is a business owner who originally came to Canada as an international student. He said voters can count on BC United if the party is elected to govern the province. 

“People want a change, and that’s what our platform provides. There a lot of good things coming.”

Singh said one of the biggest concerns he is hearing from voters is about healthcare. 

“Almost one million people don’t have a family doctor. That’s shocking.”

In his riding, which includes several communities, there are also specific concerns.” 

“In Rutland its public safety and the middle school, in Lake Country an overpass on the highway, in Coldstream its clean water and (invasive) mussels in Kalamalka Lake.”

Singh is confident BC United can maintain its hold on the Okanagan 

“The team is strong and the candidates are competent. We are here to work hard and listen to the people.”

Dr. Michael Humer/Kelowna-Centre

Humer, along with other party candidates, are breaking ground as Kelowna-Centre is a new riding in 2024 provincial election.

“It’s a fabulous riding because it’s suburan and urban,” Humer said. “So, it has all of the issues that are relevant.”

Humer, a retired thoracic surgeon, added that cost of living and getting into home ownership are common themes when speaking with voters, but most want to talk about healthcare.

“It needs significant fixes. They want more services, less red tape, and they want better access to care. At the end of the day that’s a big reason why I’m running.”

Humer said he is also hearing that people are not happy with the status quo.

“They don’t feel we’re heading in the right direction, so they want change.

Ashley Ramsay/Kelowna-Mission

Ramsay, founder of micro businesses in technology and baby goods manufacturing, grew up in Victoria and said politics was often a topic at the family kitchen table.

Her later experience around politics helped form her decision to run as a candidate. 

“Later in life, when I started my business, I did start to work in the public sector on different crown agency boards,” she said.

Ramsay added she is seeing strong support for the party while door knocking.

“I usually start with formerly the BC Liberals and immediately the guard is down and it’s “Oh yes, you’ve got my vote.”

She said her focus is to work hard every day for her community. “I didn’t step into to this for it to fall away. It’s near and dear to my heart.”

Ramsay noted that BC United is ready to govern.

“This is a management team that is prepared with the experience to make quick changes.”

Tracy St. Claire/Penticton Summerland

Sinclair grew up in Penticton and is the executive director of the non-profit South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice.

She stands firmly behind the BC United “We will fix it” campaign slogan.

“It’s results. When I look at healthcare, because that’s what I’m immersed in, if you invest in results you’re investing in on the ground care, you’re getting rid of administrative burden, you’re looking at technological capability.”

St. Claire said she is also seeing much support for the party when door knocking and speaking with voters. She pointed out that BC United (Liberals) have a track record in the province.

“Building of the bridge in Kelowna, four-laning (Highway 97) between Osoyoos and Kelowna, rebuilding hospitals. There is a track record there and people remember that.”

West Kelowna-Peachland candidate Stephen Johnston was scheduled to attend the event but cancelled due to illness.

Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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