Local business owner Pavneet Singh won over three other candidates to win the BC United nomination for the Kelowna-Lake Country-Coldstream provincial riding in the upcoming provincial election.
Singh was announced as the winner by current Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick at a reception Saturday night at the Best Western Plus, in a nomination contest that included candidates entrepreneur Binny Boparai, Regional District of North Okanagan board vice-chair Amanda Shatzko and lawyer Bal Grewal.
Singh thanked his nomination campaign supporters for winning the race, but acknowledged the work of winning the next election in what is a newly created riding immediately begins.
“It is exciting for me to win the nomination but we are just getting started,” Singh said.
“I have won the nomination but I am not the next MLA yet. We have one year to get ready for the next election and the support of Norm (Letnick) to prepare to win the riding for BC United and get (BC United leader) Kevin Falcon elected as our next premier.”
Now that the nomination battle is over, Singh said it’s important for the party members, with almost 2,800 eligible to vote in the constituency selection meetings held in Kelowna and Oyama on Saturday, to come together as a team.
He also acknowledged as a new riding, Kelowna-Lake Country-Coldstream will encompass by the Central and North Okanagan regions, creating an added diversity of issues to be addressed.
“We want to get out and meet with people across the riding to understand the issues that matter to them,” he said.
As for Letnick, he will remain as the Kelowna-Lake Country MLA until the next election, to be held before Oct. 19, 2024.
Letnick said while he is easing his way into retirement, he was hoping for and was glad to see an array of candidates vying for the nomination.
“One thing is for certain, whoever wins the nomination is going to have to work their butt off,” Letnick said prior to announcing the nomination winner, noting there will likely be NDP, Conservative and possibly Green Party candidates also seeking to win the riding.
Besides the four on the final ballot, consultant Adam Wilson and Kelowna city councillor Mohini Singh were early entrants bidding for the nomination, but both subsequently elected to drop out of the race.
Letnick said while there is debate about when Premier David Eby will call the next election, he predicts an election will either in the spring, after the 2024-25 budget is released, or next fall as is legislated.