Conservative candidate Mel Arnold was raised on a farm in Notch Hill

Conservative candidate Mel Arnold was raised on a farm in Notch Hill

ELECTION 2015: Work ethic instilled early in Arnold

North Okanagan-Shuswap: Mel Arnold is running for the Conservative Party in North Okanagan-Shuswap

  • Sep. 23, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles featuring the North Okanagan-Shuswap federal candidates.

MARTHA WICKETT

Black Press

Serious and hard-working are two words Mel Arnold uses to describe himself.

Raised on a farm in Notch Hill, Arnold learned the work ethic early. It’s an attribute that served him well in business, as it led to his first job out of high school when one of his teachers hired him for boat building.

That’s a line of work that stuck.

Arnold, who is running for the Conservative Party in North Okanagan-Shuswap, has operated his Complete Marine Detailing business for 26 years.

“I built that from the ground up – I’m not so much hands on any more. Through that I’ve learned the importance of balanced budgets and planning ahead for possible hard times. And how to make wise investments in the future growth.”

Arnold and his high school sweetheart Linda have been married for 36 years.

“My wife and I are both proud to be lifetime residents,” he says.

Personality-wise, Arnold describes himself as “a listener, very much approachable. Serious. More on the serious side than on the fun-loving side.”

Arnold’s background includes volunteering, with two terms as president of the BC Wildlilfe Federation and six years as chair of governance with the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Asked about his passions, the outdoors tops the list.

“I like to enjoy the outdoors any time I can. Hunting and fishing are my favourite passions but anytime I can be outdoors. And, oddly enough, governance is a passion. That’s why I was chair with the Canadian Wildlife Federation…,” he said. “It has been a sideline passion until now. It’s no longer a sideline.”

Asked if he has trouble reconciling his love of the outdoors with the Conservative government’s much-criticized performance on the environment, he says: “My past roles have been as a conservationist, not a preservationist. I believe in the wise use of resources. The Conservatives have been very supportive of environmental issues. In fact last year, there was $52 million for the conservation plan. That will go towards protecting sensitive areas and programs aimed at conservation of natural resources.”

Regarding potential pipeline spills, he says, “With 21st century technology, I think the risks are reasonable, especially compared with the risks in rail disasters, like Lac-Mégantic.”

As for international criticism of Canada’s position regarding climate change and the Kyoto Accord, he says: “The agreement may have been over-ambitious in light that Canada produces only two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s very difficult to reduce those emissions when they’re already at a low level.”

Another issue the prime minister has received ongoing criticism about has revolved around muzzling dissent and open discussion, as well as potential assaults on privacy such as Bill C51.

“Most of the powers in that bill existed already,” says Arnold. “The change is, it will allow different authorities to share information… about risks to the safety of Canadians, especially here at home.”

The three issues Arnold says he has in his sights are: families sustaining jobs here at home; infrastructure and the highway system; and advocating on behalf of seniors.

Arnold says he believes he would have a voice in Ottawa, were he elected.

“Yes, I’m a team player, a team builder; my previous roles have prepared me for how to bring people on board with your ideas.”

He said he’s confident Stephen Harper would listen to him.

“Caucus is a very open system.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon-area photographer Carla Hunt snapped this photo of the ‘biggest bobcat’ she’s ever seen Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Carla Hunt - Contributed)
‘Biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen’: Vernon-area photographer

Photographer Carla Hunt captures wild cat on camera

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated in downtown Vernon with the first ever Story-Window Walk Jan. 21-31. (Literacy Society of North Okanagan)
Catch a Yeti in downtown Vernon

Literacy Week celebrated with first ever Story-Window Walk

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

A Salvation Army bell is rung by Michael Cronin as he staffs the charity’s red donation kettle in front of a grocery store, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Lynden, Wash. The familiar ringing of handbells has gone silent at many Canadian shopping malls this year as the Salvation Army tries to cope with COVID-19 rules at a time of dropping donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson
Record-breaking Christmas for Vernon Salvation Army

$640K and significant food donations pour into local organization ahead of holidays

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read