Conservative Party candidate Dan Albas is looking to be re-elected in the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding.
The large riding spans from the Logan Lake area northwest of Merritt south to the U.S. border. On the eastern edge it includes a part of downtown Kelowna to Keremeos in the south.
Conservative incumbent Dan Albas has held the seat since 2015 when the riding was first created.
“I’ve never seen our country with so much division and so much debt. We need to come together and that’s why I’m running on Canada’s recovery plan,” said Albas.
“We need to get people back to work in all regions of the country, in all sectors. We need less division in politics. I believe as an experienced member of parliament, someone who listens to people, takes those concerns and presents them in Ottawa. I think I’m the best to do that. I hope everyone gets out there and votes.”
The long-standing Conservative politician said the party’s national recovery plan is the key to winning the election.
“It’s 160 pages and it defines what a Conservative government will do. So tackling housing, affordability, that’s something Mr. Trudeau has failed to do over the last six years, and also dealing with the cost of living crisis,” said Albas.
“Many pensioners have told me they are just scraping by. We have a plan to address these things.”
Liberal candidate Sarah Eves said her party’s plan is the one to vote for.
She believes it’s the only plan that is aimed at helping everyone in Canada.
“We are really in a critical moment in Canada right now. We have two very clear paths in front of us. The Liberal plan is wanting us to move forward and bring everyone forward,” said Eves.
“We are working to support climate change issues as well as equality issues. People have a choice and I am asking them to choose the path that moves everyone forward.”
Eves said if she’s elected for the riding, she will focus on bringing everyone’s voices and concerns to Ottawa, as well as having a focus on climate action.
“The reality is this riding is very diverse. We have urban areas in downtown Kelowna but we also have Hedley, which is like 200 people, and their issues are quite diverse,” Eves told Global News on Thursday.
“What I’m trying to make happen for them is that all their voices are heard in Ottawa, not just a select group. And the main focus I’ve heard is the issue about climate change, so that is what I’ll be pushing.”
New Democratic Party candidate Joan Phillip said the NDP plan, which touts the idea of taxing the super rich, is the right plan.
She believes that an NDP government would help lift the middle and lower class.
“I’ve spent my whole life doing two things: looking after the interests of ordinary people and looking after the environment. Those are our two responsibilities,” said Phillip.
“The New Democratic Party has also committed to ensuring the ordinary working person or small business is lifted up and we don’t want to further enrich the already extremely wealthy.”
She says the number one issue residents in her riding face is climate change.
“Number one on people’s list is the climate crisis,” said Phillip.
“We are committed to ensuring we are moving away from fossil fuels. Right now, big oil is getting over $900 million a year in subsidies and that’s got to stop. We have to invest in good, clean energy, which will also provide good, clean jobs that are not just high-tech but also long term.”
Green Party candidate Brennan Wauters said now is the time to vote Green. He said the party’s platform has always been focused on protecting the environment, which has recently been turned into more of an emphasis for the other three major parties.
Wauters said the Green Party plan is the right one for the environment.
“We’ve been thinking about this for years. We did predict fires 20 years ago. Now people who didn’t take much notice of us then are taking note of us now, but our convictions have never changed,” said Wauters.
“Our convictions are that we need to address climate change as a prerequisite for a whole series of important issues like housing, affordability, health and our relationships with Indigenous communities in Canada. Voting for me, I think, is a vote for a team of candidates that have been carefully thinking about these issues for a long time and are quite steadfast in their convictions.”
Wauters agrees that the number one issue facing residents within the riding is climate change.
He’s made a promise that half of his salary, if elected, would go back into the community to start outfitting public buildings with solar panels.
“On a personal commitment, I’d use half of my MP wage to use that money to stimulate the installation of solar panels on public buildings within the riding, and the caveat of that is I would like other organizations within the riding to get involved,” said Wauters.
“That’s only one piece of the puzzle. We have to start thinking about agriculture, we have to start thinking about the hydrological cycle.
“The heat waves and the fires are going to radically change the hydrological cycle. So it’s not just something that’s going to affect us in the summer, there will be implications in the winter that we have to start thinking about.”
The fifth candidate for the Central Okanagan-Similkamen-Nicola riding is the People’s Party of Canada candidate Kathryn McDonald.
She says a vote for her and the PPC is a vote for freedom.
“People should vote for the People’s Party of Canada, including myself, the people of Central Okanagan-Smilkameen-Nicola, because we are the party that stands for freedom,” said McDonald.
“We stand behind the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we are here to protect your civil liberties.”
McDonald says a vote for the PPC is a vote for change.
“Well, the way democracy is going, it doesn’t seem to be looking very well. You have two types of parties — you have the PPC party and you have got the Liberals, the Conservatives and NDP, who are all under one umbrella and all have this globalist agenda. They are not for Canada first, the People’s Party is for the people,” said McDonald.
These are just some of the local issues the candidates talked about. Of course, their respective parties have larger platforms and policies they are pushing for — issues surrounding affordability, housing, Indigenous relations and COVID-19 recovery, to name a few.