Carole Gordon: Westside-Kelowna NDP Candidate
It's her first time running for MLA but with 22 years of teaching under her belt Carole Gordon has plenty of experience with Kelowna's citizens. Having lived and worked in the Okanagan her entire life, she feels a strong investment in her community.
“I've taught all the way from Peachland to Rutland,” she says. Gordon graduated from one of the first teaching programs at the Okanagan University College, before it became UBCO. Working exclusively in elementary schools she finds grades four through six most rewarding.
“I really love the social studies curriculum, it has a lot of aboriginal studies, government, it really gets into the workings,” she says.
Taking a leave from her teaching position, Gordon says she's ready to carve out her own history in government. “It's really motivated me to step up, instead of just being an advocate, move into the area of action,” she says.
If elected on May 14 Gordon is ready to tackle childcare, education and job training. Visiting the doorsteps of her constituents has shown her a lot of families are struggling.
“Childcare is a huge issue for families – the affordability and accessibility,” she says. Her goal is to reduce the cost for infant and toddler spaces. “One thing that we know is the 0-3 infant-toddler spots are difficult to find in this area,” she says of her Westside riding.
She also wants to see a multi-disciplinary health clinic for West Kelowna, possibly on the corner of Butt Road and Old Okanagan Highway.
“There's a piece of property sitting there waiting for a facility that had some money attached to it that's no longer there,” she says. “It's been on the mayor's radar for quite a while, I look forward to the opportunity to get it done.”
Gordon stands behind the NDP's pledge to bring back the BuyBC program which was announced by Adrian Dix last Sunday.
“We're saying the BuyBC program is the better program,” she says.
The program would bring consumers and regional farmers closer together through marketing and signage. The initiative would be matched with a GrowBC program to help local growers replant their farms.
“They're struggling to meet their own needs on their own farms,” Gordon explains. Further support would come from the FeedBC program, requiring health facilities to source at least five percent of their food supplies from local growers.
While the NDP party is facing criticism for its ambitious spending plans, Gordon insists the NDP's platform is one of practicality.
“Costing it out and saying exactly how you're going to pay for it – there aren't going to be any HST-like surprises from the NDP,” she says.
"We want to make sure that we don't do too many things,” she says. Their platform pushes for change and promises tax payers will not see the same NDP government from the 1990's.
It's not just the call for change Gordon is voicing. The mother of two says she's dabbled in acapella for years.
“I like to sing, I used to win the Flashbacks Talent Show and did little town shows in my youth,” she says. “I sang for my staff when I took my leave of absence.”
“I guess it does say a little bit about me, because when I think about how a song delivers a message, it tells a story. It goes back to the doorstep, I want to know what people's stories are."
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250)718-0428.