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B.C. ELECTION 2017: Longtime politician and family man, Milobar wants to be Kamloops-North Thompson MLA

Kamloops mayor Peter Milobar is running as the B.C. Liberal candidate in the Kamloops-North Thompson riding.
May 08, 2017 - 2:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - When Kamloops mayor Peter Milobar was asked what his greatest personal accomplishment has been in his life, he didn't hesitate to answer.

"Probably that I was able to convince my wife that she should marry me, actually even agree to go out with me in the first place," Milobar laughs.

But as far as professional accomplishments go, Milobar says he and city council have been able to achieve several projects across the city over the years, from slo-pitch fields to bike tracks. He's led the city as mayor for the past nine years, but he's ready to move up the ladder in his political career.

Milobar is running for the B.C. Liberals in the Kamloops-North Thompson riding for the 2017 provincial election.

He spent six years as a city councillor followed by nine years as mayor. When it was announced Health Minister and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake would not be seeking re-election, Milobar figured it was a good time to try his hand at provincial politics.

"With Terry stepping away it seemed like a good time to make the switch and try to continue to impact change locally, through the provincial scale of things," Milobar says.

But it wasn't a tough family decision for the Milobars to make. With the Kamloops mayor already working a 50- to 60-hour work week regularly, Milobar's family knows the extra hours come with the job.

"My kids were very young when I was elected as a councillor and as a mayor, so they’ve always kind of grown up with that as a work schedule," he says. "It’s just kind of been one of those things that we morphed into. All of us are very supportive of each other in my family, not just my wife and my kids but also my brothers and sisters. We always support everyone whenever theyre doing something and this has been no different."

But even with a busy work schedule, Milobar says he has a pretty average way to unwind when he does have some down time.

"It still somewhat revolves around my kids’ schedules around their sports," he says. "I’ll still try to go watch... some of the things that they’re doing, or go try to enjoy concerts or an evening out with friends, very typical of what everyone else would do on their days off. Try to catch up and cut the grass so that it doesn’t totally annoy the neighbours that it’s getting too long."

Milobar has roots in Kamloops, from the time his parents moved from a small mining town in Alberta to when they moved to Kamloops and his father practiced as a physician. 

His parents also worked in the hospitality industry in the city and now Milobar and his wife own a liquor store as well.

Although he considers himself an "open book," Milobar says some people may be surprised to know he's actually pretty shy.

"I have no problem speaking in front of a large crowd but until I get more comfortable with the setting I’m at, I tend to be a little shy that way," he says. "That’s probably the one thing that you wouldn’t assume given my line of work."

Now as he runs for the B.C. Liberals for the Kamloops-North Thompson riding, he hopes to affect more change locally in a different position. He says the Liberals seemed like a good fit for him, after people had guessed over the years whether he was federally Liberal or Conservative.

"Provincially, they’re a good amalgamation of the two and I’ve never once been confused as possible being NDP so that’s probably a good indication right there," he says. "I’ve been elected 15 years now and I think people would be very hard pressed to come up with any times I’ve mislead the public. They may not like the decision I’ve made or the direction we’ve taken as a city on certain items, but I’ve always been upfront and honest with people."

The biggest issues for Milobar in this provincial election revolve around jobs and a strong economy.

"Nothing happens if we don’t have that," Milobar says. "I want to make sure we are continuing to have the environment in B.C. that encourages growth of jobs, encourages innovation in tech and other sectors and encourages people to want to take risk and kind of venture on their own."

With his family backing him, Milobar is ready to make the transition from mayor to MLA if the votes go that way on May 9.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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