Long-time labour leader, community activist and experienced small business owner Mike Nuyens was to have reconfirmed his intention to seek the NDP provincial nomination for Kelowna-Lake Country at the constituency’s annual general meeting, held over the weekend at the Winfield Seniors’ Centre.
Nuyens, 52, a machine operator, said he decided to make the foray into provincial politics after witnessing first-hand the devastation to families and communities as a result of what he calls the reckless policies of the B.C. Liberal government.
“I was born and raised in Kelowna-Lake Country. I’ve raised my children here. I’ve started my own businesses here. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. But I’m shocked at what 12 years of deep cuts to public services and mismanagement of our natural resources have done to my community and communities across the province,” Nuyens said.
“Decent jobs are hard to come by. Tuition fees are out of reach for young people. Parents can’t afford quality child care. Seniors are living in poverty. It’s getting harder and harder for families to make ends meet,” Nuyens said.
“People need a break, but they’re not getting it from the B.C. Liberals.
“Christy Clark promised to put ‘families first’, but in Kelowna-Lake Country, families are last.”
Nuyens recommends himself for the job siting his tireless efforts defending the rights of working people and their families, as an activist and leader in the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) representing over 65,000 working women and men across the province.
A member of the BCGEU’s provincial executive, Nuyens represents more than 3,000 workers in highways maintenance, Canada Line, AirCare and other workplaces, including in Kelowna-Lake Country.
Born to a family of orchardists, Nuyens co-managed the 100-acre family orchard with his father after graduating from high school.
He started his own excavation business in Kelowna-Lake Country over 30 years ago, which grew from a one-person operation to a company of more than 15 employees.
Nuyens said he has the experience, skills and drive to win the constituency for the NDP. A strong community activist, he campaigned successfully to stop the Liberals’ sell-off of the Coquihalla highway.
“I will listen to residents and speak out on the issues they care most about—like investing in agriculture and natural resources, job creation, environmental protection, and better access to health care, education and other vital public services,” Nuyens said.
“I’m eager to work with party members and supporters to mount an effective and positive campaign, so we can restore and protect the quality of life we value so deeply here in Kelowna-Lake Country.”
Nuyens and his wife, Jocelyn, live in Lake Country with their two sons Brayden, 21, and Mitchell, 18.