Election 2019: Conservatives take the lead in South Okanagan-West Kootenay | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Election 2019: Conservatives take the lead in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Change may be afoot in the South Okanagan - West Kootenay.
Image Credit: 388Canada.com
October 03, 2019 - 4:00 PM

SOUTH OKANAGAN - There are still a few weeks left until you have to decide who to vote for in the federal election but a quick look at the 338Canada interactive map that was updated Oct. 2 reveals that change may be afoot in the South Okanagan.

The South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, which is currently held by NDP MP Dick Cannings has inched toward Conservatives, according to the map.

The current breakdown is 33.9 per cent in favour of the Conservative candidate, 26.6  per cent in favour of the NDP, 20.8 per cent Liberal and 14.7 per cent Green. 

The 338Canada project is a statistical model of electoral projections based on opinion polls, electoral history of Canadian provinces and demographic data.

Throughout the 338 federal electoral districts, city centres are mostly leaning red (and orange), while rural districts generally tend to lean blue.

Given that there’s still time to decide, we want to offer you a bit more insight into what these candidates have to offer.

How tuned in are local candidates to the issues you are dealing with every day?
Do they understand what’s causing your neighbourhood to flourish or suffer?

We wanted to know, so we asked what they believed to be the biggest issue in their riding and what, if anything, they could do about it? Unfortunately, in this riding, candidate participation was quite low.

South Okanagan West Kootenay incumbent NDP candidate Richard Cannings replied:

Nationally, climate action is the biggest issue in this campaign, but locally, affordability comes up again and again. The lack of affordable housing is a major problem for youth trying to stay in the region to begin their careers, young families hoping to find a suitable home, and businesses trying to attract workers to grow their enterprises.

Federal governments, both Liberal and Conservative, abandoned the affordable housing market 30 years ago. The Trudeau government promised to tackle the housing crisis but ended up spending less on housing in the last four years than the Harper government did.

There area a number of exciting, new affordable housing projects being built in the riding, including Burdock House, (supportive housing) and The Rise (affordable housing) and South Skaha Place (seniors housing) in Okanagan Falls.

None of these projects involve significant federal funding - we could do so much more if the federal government stepped up. The NDP would build 500,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years to make up for the lost years of federal government inaction.

Gaps in our universal health coverage are also a big part of the affordability problem. Ten per cent of Canadians can’t afford to fill their prescriptions, resulting in serious health issues and increased hospital admissions. We could have a universal public pharmacare program so that all Canadians would have access to free prescription medications, and save over $4 billion each year because of centralized buying power. The NDP have a detailed plan to have pharmacare in place next year.

South Okanagan West Kootenay Conservative candidate Helen Konanz replied:

My team and I have knocked on over 30,000 doors, and the number one thing I hear about is the rising cost of living. Under Justin Trudeau, life has become much more unaffordable.

A Conservative government will put more money in your pocket so you can get ahead. This includes a Universal tax cut that will save the average family $850 a year.

This plan also includes removing GST from the cost of home heating, raising the Age Tax Credit for seniors by $1000 a year, and cancelling the federal carbon tax. Under this Trudeau government people are struggling to get by and a Conservative government will make sure that everyone can have more money in their pocket to support themselves and their families.

South Okanagan West Kootenay Green Party candidate Tara Howse replied:

Mission: Possible is the Green Party’s environmental platform to address the climate emergency. We are the only party with an evidenced-based plan to meet the globally accepted targets of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Perhaps you don’t see the connections with extreme weather events, such as flooding and fire, with climate change. I want to put that aside; I want to work across Party lines. Even if you don’t believe in the crisis, shifting from fossil fuels makes solid economic and social sense. We can come together and agree that investing in renewable energy will improve our health and economy.

Mission: Possible will create four million jobs solely in retrofitting all of our residential, commercial, and residential buildings, jobs that you will see here. Working with all governments through a Council of Canadian Governments, we will invest in cycling and walking infrastructure. We will support agriculture in shifting to regenerative agriculture. We will launch a massive tree-planting program.

We need to start asking how much other parties have subsidized the oil and gas industry. The price of oil continues to drop while the cost of extraction continues to rise, it’s time to diversify and invest in promising and new opportunities. With more items costed through the Parliamentary Budget Office than any other Party, we have demonstrated fiscal responsibility in carrying out these measures.

Being a grassroots organization that puts peoples’ needs before corporate greed, the Green Party is best suited to implement the progressive measures that are required to meet targets.

Liberal party’s Connie Denesiuk and the People’s Party of Canada’s Sean Taylor have yet to respond to their questionnaire. New candidates listed on the Elections Canada website have yet to be contacted though we are reaching out to them.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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