Election 2019: Climate change is definitely on the minds of South Okanagan West Kootenay voters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Election 2019: Climate change is definitely on the minds of South Okanagan West Kootenay voters

Candidates in the South Okanagan West Kootenay riding discuss big challenges in their lives and how they dealt with it.
Image Credit: iStock
October 09, 2019 - 5:43 PM

PENTICTON - Climate change is a big topic as we head into this month’s federal election, and it’s no less a concern in the federal riding of South Okanagan West Kootenay.

Information gleaned from a University of Montreal study on climate change that breaks down public opinion by electoral riding says 85 per cent of the riding’s residents think the earth is getting warmer.

That compares with 83 per cent who feel the same way on a national scale.

It’s also interesting to note 46 per cent of riding residents believe climate change will be harmful on a personal level, with 70 per cent believing B.C. has already experienced negative effects from climate change.

Sixty-one per cent of riding residents support increased taxes on carbon based fuels and 59 per cent agree with a cap and trade system.

As part of our election coverage at iNFOnews.ca, we are asking questions we believe will offer insight to the candidates and the way they view local issues.

We recently asked the candidates of the South Okanagan West Kootenay riding about a hardship they had faced in their life, and how they overcame it.

Here is this week’s response:

Conservative Candidate Helena Konanz:

My husband and I started our small business 24 years ago and worked for many years to build that business. There were times when it was very difficult.  Small business owners across Canada know that there are many challenges that come along with making your dreams become a reality. We worked hard and struggled and happily now have a thriving business in Penticton. Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau views small business owners as tax cheats and does not respect their hard work and sacrifice. Small business owners are the lifeblood of our local communities and I understand the hard work and challenges that come along with entrepreneurship.

Green Party Candidate Tara Howse:

In early 2016, I fell ill. 6 weeks and many blood tests later, I was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease. For 2 years, my body attacked itself: kidneys, fluid in the lungs, pulmonary embolism, crippling joint pain, extreme fatigue, depression, and hair loss.  For someone who was incredibly active and overall healthy, the inability to put on my own socks was devastating. As with most autoimmune conditions, I had no idea what was going to happen.

I decided I had to learn to live within my own limitations. This meant instead of multi-month long hikes, I took up bird watching from my porch and truly appreciated what I did have: family, friends, financial security. So many others do not have these, and I knew I was lucky for that. Slowly, my body calmed down and I began to engage in activity again. It started with 100-metre walks and culminated this spring in bike-packing the Arizona Trail 300 mile route.

I still have to be careful: stress and sun are the two biggest triggers for lupus and there is no cure, it’s lifestyle management. We were concerned before starting this new political life but I have not relapsed or had symptoms. I am finding that the overwhelming positive interactions and experiences I am having is nullifying any negatives that may come up. I am having fun and truly enjoying this new direction.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips totips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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