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Long-time Kelowna MLA Norm Letnick won’t seek re-election

Letnick, who was first elected in 2009, says he will continue to help community
Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MLA Norm Letnick said he won’t seek re-election in 2024. (Black Press Media file photo)

Long-time Kelowna MLA and former minister of agriculture Norm Letnick won’t be seeking a fifth term in the provincial legislature.

Norm Letnick of BC United announced Thursday (April 27) that he won’t be running in 2024 provincial election, citing the recent re-drawing of the provincial riding boundaries as reason.

“With the addition of a fourth Kelowna riding, I believe this is a good time to encourage new people to step forward and compete for the challenge and privilege of representing Kelowna and Lake Country voters in the (legislature),” he said.

Letnick said he will remain an MLA until the next election, adding that he will do everything to support party leader Kevin Falcon.

Letnick was re-elected to a fourth term as MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country in 2020 following his first election in 2009. He was minister of agriculture from Sept. 2012 to July 2017. He currently serves as BC United’s Shadow Minister for Children and Family Development, having served three years as Shadow Minister for Health. He also served two years as Assistant Deputy Speaker.

Before entering provincial politics, Letnick served on the municipal councils of both Kelowna (2005-08) and Banff (1992-98).

RELATED: Kelowna MLA wants province to speed up transportation plans on Highway 97

Letnick’s ties in the Okanagan are deep and include an associate professorship at Okanagan University College’s business program in which he drew on his experience in the tech and finance sectors. He also achieved candidacy status for a PhD in Health Economics from the University of British Columbia.

Beyond his academic and business experience, Letnick’s resume also includes a long list of volunteer roles, many of them involving housing.

Letnick, who currently serves as president of the YeYe Housing Society, said he will continue to be involved.

“Together, we have accomplished a lot but there is much more work to be done,” he said. “I intend to continue serving our community in a non-elected capacity after the next election, especially in the area of entry-level housing.”

Born in Montreal, Letnick is fluent in French and has consistently championed B.C.’s francophone community. This aspect among others has also allowed Letnick to build bridges to members of other parties in the provincial legislatures, including New Democratic Minister of Health Adrian Dix, whom Letnick recently thanked for his role in supporting French-speakers.

Letnick is the second long-serving BC United MLA to announce that he would not be running. Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris also won’t be seeking re-election, raising questions about the future depth of BC United’s caucus.

Falcon said Letnick and Morris are “outstanding MLAs” who have served British Columbia very well.

“I really applaud their service, because it has been exceptional,” he said. “But I also recognize the huge opportunity to do something that I have talked about from the very day that I launched my leadership to be leader of this party, that is to renew and revitalize, the party. So I look at this as opportunity to bring in some fresh candidates with fresh perspectives that are diverse and represent the province that I hope I have the honour to be premier of. While it is sad to see veterans leave, it does open up an enormous renewal opportunity.”


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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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