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ELECTION 2015: West Kelowna mayor says endorsing federal election candidates is bad politics

Conservative MP Ron Cannan makes an announcement while West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater (far right) looks on. Findlater says municipal politicians should avoid endorsing candidates for election in other levels of government.
October 15, 2015 - 2:30 PM

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Firmly on the fence is where West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater is sitting as far as publicly endorsing a candidate in the Oct. 19 federal election.

“I have to work with whoever is elected, although I can say we worked well with Dan Albas (incumbent MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.) He helped us a lot during a critical point in our development. But I will be happy to work with anyone else who is elected in a non-partisan way.”

And the fence is where he thinks other muncipal politicians should be as well.

“I know other councillors who are active in campaigning. I just don’t think it’s right,” he says.

There is nothing stopping Findlater, or the entire West Kelowna council as a group, from endorsing political candidates but the mayor says local councillors tend to keep their political views to themselves, even amongst each other.

“We have to work together too,” the mayor says.

Findlater says his non-partisan approach would include working with members of Parliament who are part of a coalition government.

“If they have our interest at heart, I’m happy to work with them. Elected people have to work with other levels of government, that’s just how it is.”

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was not immediately available for comment but has also said publicly he will not endorse any particular candidate or party ahead of Monday’s vote.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker doesn’t share their worries. He has given a video endorsement of Conservative Ron Cannan in Kelowna-Lake Country, one of several testimonials for the incumbent by prominent local businessmen and former politicians.

While Findlater disapproves of Baker’s stance, he also thinks endorsements don't really work in any case.

“I don’t think it makes a difference. It makes for some good headlines and makes the candidates feel good but I think most people make up their own minds based on their own opinions and what the party platform is,” the mayor adds.

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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