Meet your candidates vying for the North Okanagan-Shuswap seat in the Sept. 20 federal election.
Mel Arnold - Conservative Party of Canada
I was raised in Notch Hill and have had the privilege of living in the North Okanagan-Shuswap my entire life. My wife Linda and I met in high school and are looking forward to the imminent arrival of our first grandchild.
Citizens from across our region have identified affordability of living as a top concern. After 6 years of out-of-control spending, inflation is the highest its been in years. Conservatives have released our Canada Recovery Plan that will support affordability by fighting inflation and the rising costs of necessities like groceries.
As a former small business owner, I know how red tape, labour markets and taxation challenge business operators. I will continue to advocate for policies and legislation that promote economic growth and security for everyone.
Recently, we have seen the federal government encroach on freedoms of speech and expression. These freedoms should not be up for debate, and I will continue to defend them.
The Conservative plan will fight climate change, increase rural Internet services while also expanding government accountability, mental health supports and more. I believe our plan for national recovery will secure Canada’s future and I ask for your support so we can follow through with that plan.
Kyle Delfing - People’s Party of Canada
Kyle Delfing is a Vernon businessman with a background in logistics, heavy equipment operation and management. Politically, he has always paid attention.
As a citizen, he has worked with the local government to get roads paved and have unfair policies rescinded. His political career started in 2019 with the People’s Party of Canada, running as a candidate for the North Okanagan Shuswap, garnering 2.7 per cent of the vote that year. In 2020 he was asked to run with the Conservative Party of British Columbia. He accepted the invitation and ran my campaign based on honesty and policy, garnering 12.5 per cent of the vote. He successfully sought out the presidency of the Conservative Party of British Columbia in early 2021, where he worked towards bringing common sense politics to British Columbia.
He has since stepped down and am running once more with the People’s Party of Canada, knowing this election is vital for Canada. We have a choice, vote for one of the big four and continue down a path of unimaginable debt, relentless lockdown cycles, and vaccine mandates, destroying the fabric of our society and our economy.
Or, we can vote for the People’s Party of Canada, get Canada back to work and back to normal.
The Peoples Party of Canada is the only Federal party offering Canadians their everyday lives back.
We also have some excellent economic, healthcare and environmental policies.
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Shelley Desautels - Liberal Party of Canada
I was born and raised in Vernon and have lived in Salmon Arm for seven years with my husband and two children. I have spent my entire life in North Okanagan-Shuswap and am intimately familiar with both the dynamic and the people of this riding.
I am a geographical information systems certificate instructor at Okanagan College, teaching mapping and data analysis. I also own my own mapping company where I work with Indigenous community forests. I am the vice-president of the Boxing for Wellness Society, a director of the Shuswap Cycling Club, a director of the BC Community Forest Association, and the Service Officer at the Royal Canadian Legion.
I come to running for MP as a citizen who sees the need for engagement and responsive leadership in our communities. I am committed to listening to and working with everyone in the riding. The people of our riding deserve no less.
Housing is one of the biggest challenges facing our riding. But the number one challenge facing our riding – and our entire country – is, without a doubt, climate change. We must both reach our net zero goals and adapt. It’s not just about protecting the environment but is also to protect our economic competitiveness.
Andrea Gunner - Green Party of Canada
Armstrong resident Andrea Gunner is running for the North Okanagan/Shuswap riding because she believes that we have the ability to change the path we take going forward. Empowering people and communities is at the heart of all she does. As an agricultural economist and an organic farmer, she works at the grassroots level with community groups, farmers, processors, industry associations and all levels of government, including Indigenous.
Andrea’s kindness, persistence, and intelligence have been an inspiration to everyone who knows her, and the fact that she is willing to enter politics for the sake of our community and our environment has been deeply moving for people in her riding. With the climate crisis upon us, Andrea’s agricultural expertise and organizational prowess are desperately needed at a national level.
An active volunteer, she currently chairs or co-chairs the Armstrong Food Initiative Society, The Friends of Rose Swanson Ecological Stewardship Society, the Township of Spallumcheen Agricultural Advisory Committee and Farm Folk/City Folk, B.C.’s oldest and largest food and agriculture advocacy organization. She is a past president of the BC Institute of Agrologists, and a member of both the Township of Spallumcheen Select Committee on Rose Swanson and Shuswap Climate Action.
Under her mentorship, her agricultural clients have been able to implement ecologically sound methods while maintaining or improving efficiency and economic viability. Improving the soil’s ability to capture and store carbon is another critical benefit of sustainable land-use practices. While her vision for a sustainable future is lofty, Andrea’s feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Ron Johnston - NDP
Born and raised in Calgary, I began my career in mechanical design working in high tech industries before coming to BC in 2000. It’s because of that design background that I have built a very real understanding that complex challenges require creative solutions. I know that if you want a solution to succeed, you need to involve everyone who will be affected and engage them in a spirit of collaboration and equality.
Over the past years, I have worked with both the provincial and federal NDP EDAs, having most recently worked on the successful campaign of current NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu.
The pandemic has hit hard for so many families in the region. Between job loss and rising costs, getting by day to day has become more of a challenge than ever. I understand these challenges first-hand because my family is facing the same struggles.
That was a big part of my decision to run. Working-class people are underrepresented in politics, but I’m running to give power and a voice back to everyday people in the North Okanagan - Shuswap.
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