Meet the North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates

Five candidates are geared up for the federal election campaign

Here are the candidates running in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding:

Mel Arnold, Conservative Party (incumbent)

A long-time business owner and active volunteer, Mel Arnold was first elected to the House of Commons on Oct. 19, 2015.

In Ottawa, Arnold was tapped as deputy shadow minister for Fisheries Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard. In that position, he said he was able to continue his efforts toward conservation on a national scale.

Arnold said he is passionate about enriching opportunities for communities in his riding.

Office: 2907 32nd Avenue, Vernon. 20 Hudson Avenue, Salmon Arm*

Kyle Delfing, People’s Party of Canada

Kyle Delfing says he is no stranger to hard work and if elected he will seek to bring jobs to the riding that have a low impact on the environment.

The Vernon entrepreneur will advocate for the widening of Highway 1 through the North Okanagan-Shuswap and push for completion of regional infrastructure promises made by previous governments.

Delfing said he feels the PPC is the only Canadian party with principles and he believes its policies will be great for the riding.

The political newbie said he’s familiar with the business, as he has been involved in changing bylaws, updating policies and getting roads paved.

Office: 2504 – 43rd Street, Vernon

Cindy Derkaz, Liberal Party

Cindy Derkaz points to her roots in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding, having spent most of her life in what she calls the “most beautiful place in the world.”

The community leader has been recognized for her work as the president of the Shuswap Community Foundation, which earned her the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteerism in 2012.

The Derkaz name is familiar in both Vernon and Salmon Arm, where her parents owned and operated Derkaz Shoes.

The small-business knowledge gained through her work there was applied to building her own law firm in 1981.

As a lawyer and adjudicator, Derkaz served on three appeal tribunals in the province, including a term as vice-chair of the Environmental Appeal Board.

Derkaz’s primary focuses are true economic diversification, investment in opportunity and growth, reconciliation and environmental stewardship.

Office: 2908 30th Avenue, Vernon*

Marc Reinarz, Green Party

Marc Reinarz moved to Canada in 1974 to live on a ranch in the East Kootenays.

The Luxembourg native completed his studies in electronics in Calgary and travelled back to work in Europe for Philips Electronics. Reinarz returned to Canada in 2004 and lives on an acreage in Spallumcheen where he and his wife keep their Andalusian horses.

Commodore of the North Okanagan Sailing Association, Reinarz — a passionate sailor — said the environment, both locally and globally, is a priority.

The political newcomer said Canada’s economy must be more diversified, resilient and less vulnerable to global shifts. He said with his international business background, he feels he has a lot to offer constituents.

Office: 3023 30th Ave., Vernon

Harwinder Sandhu, New Democratic Party

This registered nurse and mother of three was widowed at a young age.

In order to start a new chapter in her life, she moved her family to Vernon where she remarried and has worked to build her community.

With a background working with organizations such as the B.C. Nurses Union, Sandhu has advocated for health-care workers and patients, and pushed for safer neighbourhoods.

Sandhu said she is focused on creating a more affordable Canada for hard workers, fighting for universal pharmacare, creating affordable housing and creating a climate action plan that creates jobs.

Office: 3130-32nd St., Vernon

With the election has officially called, Peter Grainger with Elections Canada said all 503 Elections Canada offices are open across the country.

Voters can register or vote at any of Elections Canada offices including the one in Vernon at Suite B, 4611-23rd Street and one in Salmon Arm at 171 Shuswap Street.

*Editors notes: two campaign addresses were inaccurately reported and have since been corrected. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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