It is a riding with a long Conservative history, and Conservative incumbent Dan Albas hopes to keep it that way.
The riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola is a large one that includes the communities of West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt plus parts of downtown Kelowna and areas of the Mission.
First elected as a Member of Parliament in 2011, Albas – a former Penticton city councillor and martial arts instructor — told Global News he hopes to get re-elected, as there is still a lot of work to do in the riding.
He points to the zebra and quagga mussel threat as one of those unfinished jobs.
“The federal government, they have put some money aside to study it but that’s not giving on-the-ground protection,” Albas said. “And if we lose Lake Okanagan, Lake Osoyoos, Nicola Lake, these are all tourism centres and not to mention that is where we get our drinking water from.”
The Green Party’s Robert Mellalieu is one of five candidates trying to unseat Albas.
The small business owner, who has ran both on federal and provincial levels before, said there are a number of issues needing attention, in what he calls a diverse riding, noting homelessness, the invasive muscle threat and transportation.
“The valley transportation is just ridiculous,” Mellalieu said. “People are willing to spend a bunch of money to build a bridge but as soon as I say light transit, they say how much is it going to cost?
“Well, probably about the same…we have all these vehicles with one person in them and it is the most inefficient way to move people.”
Mary Ann Murphy is running for the Liberals.
She’s new to the political game and is an associate professor at UBC Okanagan.
The longtime West Kelowna resident said there are several key priorities she wants to tackle.
“Action on climate, water treatment, water maintenance, water supply issues, social programs, addressing issues here like homelessness, youth mental health,” she said.
The NDP’s Joan Phillip is hoping to be this riding’s newest MP.
The longtime Penticton Indian Band councillor and wife of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said two key issues are top of her mind, one of them being climate change, something she says younger generations are especially concerned about.
“Those young people are going to suffer the consequences of what we do and don’t do,” she said. “And No. 2 is pharmacare because we have a large number of elderly people who, again, are having to make decisions whether to pay rent or take their medication.”
Allan Duncan is running for this country’s newest political party, the People’s Party of Canada.
The small business owner and political newcomer says he chose to be a candidate in the election because he thinks the federal government was paying more attention to global interests rather than Canadian interests.
Duncan said he believes constituents in the riding want what the party promotes: more personal freedoms.
“There’s a lot of pressure on people as far as taxes are and regulations, especially in small business, to get things going and overcome obstacles, ” Duncan said. “So we would like to lower taxes and increase trade and just allow people more flexibility.”
Jesse Regier is running as Libertarian candidate
He said he’s running to bring more attention to the party and its core values.
The logging truck driver said health care and the forestry industry need urgent attention.
He also wants to tackle what he calls over-taxation in this country.
“The Libertarian Party of Canada holds that the rights of the individuals are more important that right of government,” Regier said. “The sole purpose of government is to protect the rights and freedoms of the individual, including your property rights so that every individual can be a free person in a free market.”