The riding of Kelowna — Lake Country reverted to its Conservative leanings in the last federal election, but four new faces are now vying for the incumbent MP.
Conservative candidate Tracy Gray defeated Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr by nearly 9,000 votes in the 2019 election, and she is now fighting to retain her seat in the 2021 federal election.
“I really want to continue serving the community,” Gray said.
The riding of Kelowna — Lake Country includes everything but a small section of Kelowna south of Harvey Avenue and extends to Lake Country in the north.
As shadow minister, Gray said she was involved in vaccine procurement and also claims that she helped ensure the Okanagan constituency receives its fair share of vaccines.
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“Whenever I’m on a committee to press a minister or ask questions, or when I’m in the House of Commons, it’s always about making that local voice heard,” she said.
The former Kelowna city councilor cites housing and affordability as key local issues and said she wants the Canadian economy to get back on track.
“We have a job crisis here,” Gray said. “We need to get people back to work and get people back to work as we get out of these government programs. “
Gray said it is important to ensure that Canadian businesses continue to invest in the economy.
“Right now we have a red tape and regulatory environment that makes it really hostile for a lot of companies,” she said, adding that she had met with manufacturers and unions across the country as part of the process. of his role in the shadow cabinet.
“And there is a real lack of confidence in the Canadian environment,” said Gray.
“Right now we have lost a lot of business to other countries,” she added. “We need to have a working regulatory environment for businesses to continue to grow and invest here. “
Extended interview with Tracy Gray, Conservative candidate for Kelowna — Lake Country
Tim Krupa hopes to take back the traditionally conservative Liberal seat.
“The wildfires, the pandemic and our lack of leadership on climate change and vaccines, in my eyes, made this the perfect opportunity for us to step up our representation in Kelowna Lake Country,” Krupa said.
The former Liberal staff member grew up in Kelowna and continued his education at the University of Oxford.
He has spent the last two years working in the financial sector for the Canada Pension Plan, which oversees $ 500 billion in assets.
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“What the Conservatives are trying to do is deflect attention from their poor record on climate change action and boosting vaccination,” Krupa said.
“And that’s why we need stronger leadership here in Kelowna — Lake Country.
Given the devastating fire seasons the Okanagan has recently faced, he said tackling climate change is a top local priority.
“He arrived at our doors. This has an impact not only on our environment, but also on our economy. This affects agriculture, tourism, hotels, ”he said.
“For the first time, we have a price on pollution, where we ask the big polluters to pay their fair share. We have net zero legislation by 2050, ”Krupa said.
Krupa said his party would tackle the housing crisis through an option-to-buy rental program, build more homes and temporarily ban foreign buyers.
Extended interview with Tim Krupa, Liberal candidate for Kelowna — Lake Country
NDP candidate Cade Desjarlais is a second-year political science student at UBC Okanagan. He said much of his work and life has been devoted to social justice and advocating for mental health.
“For a long time, young people and marginalized voices did not sit at the table and take part in the conversation,” Desjarlais said.
The 19-year-old noted that the world is changing rapidly and that between the pandemic, the climate crisis and the housing crisis, a new perspective is needed.
“The experience of 30 years ago will not really lend itself to meeting these new challenges and these new problems,” Desjarlais said. “And what are the 30, 40, 50, 60 years old, these representatives in Parliament, what have they really done for our community?
He said his party would introduce universal pharmacare and build affordable housing.
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“We are going to invest in green technologies. We are going to renovate all the buildings. We are going to electrify public transit, ”Desjarlais said.
“And on the one hand, you can’t call yourself a climate leader and then buy a pipeline,” he said. ” That does not make sense. We are going to take the big bucks out of the big oil companies and return that money to Canadians.
Extended interview with Cade Desjarlais, NDP candidate for Kelowna — Lake Country
Green Party candidate Imre Szeman lives in Winlaw and works remotely as a professor of environmental communications at the University of Waterloo.
He wants to see a national pharmacare program and also believes housing is an important issue, but has said tackling climate change is his top priority.
“There have to be ways to adapt to climate change locally as well as to mitigate it,” Szeman said. “So we have to think about what will happen to agriculture in the region. How are we going to make sure our communities are safe from fires? “
“Canadians tend to switch between two parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, who I believe have done little for Canada, especially when it comes to climate change,” he said. .
“We didn’t get here all of a sudden. We came here because of a lot of government inaction.
Extended interview with Imre Szeman, Green Party candidate for Kelowna — Lake Country
People’s Party of Canada candidate Brian Rogers raised his family in Kelowna and worked as an electrician for the past 17 years.
He is against vaccine passports and does not think the blockages have worked.
“The last thing we want to see is that our government continues to erode every freedom we have, be it life, liberty or your property,” Rogers said.
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Its top priority is to change the way the COVID crisis is handled.
“Get rid of all the warrants, get rid of all that waiting around for companies to verify people’s identities,” Rogers said. “Get businesses back to work and let them make money. “
Federal elections take place on Monday.
Extended Interview with Brian Rogers, PPC Candidate for Kelowna — Lake Country
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