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ELECTION 2015: Why North Okanagan-Shuswap candidate Cindy Derkaz wants to earn your vote

Cindy Derkaz is the North Okanagan Shuswap's Liberal candidate in the upcoming federal election.
August 22, 2015 - 10:35 AM

VERNON - You might know her from her days working at Derkaz Shoes, her parent’s shop, or from her involvement in organizations like the Shuswap Community Foundation or Shuswap Trail Alliance. And now, Cindy Derkaz is introducing herself in a new capacity, as the Liberal party candidate for the North-Okanagan Shuswap riding.

Derkaz grew up in Salmon Arm and has lived there most of her life. After graduating from Salmon Arm Senior High, she studied economics and political science at the University of British Columbia. Ultimately, she came home with a law degree under her belt, and opened up a practice in Salmon Arm. After 16 years practicing ‘small town law’ — such as real estate and wills — she took on an appointment on the Environmental Appeal Board of B.C.

She’s always been interested in politics but it wasn’t until the last few years that she decided to stop complaining about the federal government and try instead to do something about it.

“My husband and I have been watching what’s going on in Ottawa and have become increasingly concerned with the direction Harper is taking with the Conservatives,” she says. “It’s not the Canada I thought we had. I am passionate about trying to change that.”

With a long history of community involvement ranging from the Shuswap Folk Music Society to being the president of the Shuswap Community Foundation, Derkaz believes she has what it takes to engage with locals, listen to their concerns and represent them in Ottawa.

“We’ve heard way too much of what Ottawa thinks coming back to the riding and not enough of vice versa,” she says.

Having been a safe Conservative seat historically, the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding will be a tough nut to crack, but Derkaz believes local voters are looking for something new.

“I am finding more and more people are ready for change,” she says.

Diversifying the economy while protecting the environment are two big topics Derkaz is passionate about on both a local, and federal level.

“It’s no longer either a healthy economy or a healthy environment, you can have both,” she says. “Here we’ve got our lakes and big concerns with water quality. We have problems with mussels in the lakes and algae blooms…. I’ve been working extremely hard to talk to people and find out what the concerns and issues are. I always ask ‘What do you want your MP to be doing?'”

To read more about Derkaz, or to contact her, click here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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