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ELECTION 2015: Liberal Fuhr says air force experience will help in political dogfight

Federal Liberal candidate for Kelowna Lake Country Stephen Fuhr, left, speaks with supporters during a Canada Day event in Kelowna this summer.
Image Credit: Stephen Fuhr
September 08, 2015 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - It was logic honed by 20 years in the air force that brought Stephen Fuhr to where he is today; federal Liberal candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country.

“It was the F-35 program that got me involved in big P politics,” Fuhr says, noting he voted Conservative before then. “When I heard two cabinet ministers and the treasury board president tell us why we needed this airplane, I knew everything these people were saying was not true. And then it dawned on me that if they are getting this so wrong, what else are they getting wrong?”

Fuhr knew planes. He went straight into the air force from the aviation program at Trinity Western University, finishing the flying course and then training as a flight instructor and CF-18 fighter pilot.

He was posted to Winnipeg in 2003 where he served out his time in the airforce as fleet manager for the Canada's CF-18 fleet and as an examiner's instructor.

“The airforce is self-regulating so it was my job to teach a select group of people to administer flight tests once a year to meet the airforce standards."

Fuhr mustered out of the air force in 2009 and came straight to Kelowna where he began working as vice president and director of business developement for a company that  manufactured satellite communications equipment for commercial aircraft.

Within the four years, Fuhr had assumed the positions of president and CEO as an active investor before selling the company in 2012.

Fuhr is single with a son who goes to Brentwood College School in Duncan on Vancouver Island. This leaves him, he says, with lots of time to do what needs to be done — door knocking and endless doorstep debates with possible voters.

While Fuhr knows he’s got a dogfight on his hands against incumbent Conservative Ron Cannan and even the surging NDP he says his military experience serves him well when the pressure mounts.

“Flying helps build character traits like discipline and thinking outside the box. I really learned how personal relationships with people, mutally beneficial relationships, help you achieve what you want to achieve.”

He thinks his private sector experience will also pay dividents, if he can get elected.

“What I learned about customer service in the private sector is doing what you say you’re going to do, one of those basic things that people can lose sight of in a long term relationship. Those things are going to serve us well if I make it to Ottawa."

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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