Election 2019: Kelowna - Lake Country projected to be swept up in a B.C. Interior wave of blue | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Election 2019: Kelowna - Lake Country projected to be swept up in a B.C. Interior wave of blue

Conservatives are poised to take the lead according to polls.
Image Credit: 388Canada.com
October 16, 2019 - 4:00 PM

With five days left until it's time to cast a ballot, there's still time for undecided voters to make up their minds.

Nationally, the election projection from 338canada.com has the polls saying the Liberal Party is set to take the most seats, it also projects the Conservative Party will take the popular vote beating the Liberal's by just over one per cent.

In Kelowna - Lake Country, projections for the race aren't nearly as close to the national picture.

Currently, 338canada.com forecasts the Tory's to take 40 per cent of the popular vote,  the Liberals in second place taking 34.1 per cent and the NDP at 12.4 per cent. The Greens sit in fourth position at 9.7 per cent.

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

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

With the issue of illicit drugs and addiction a subject that's never far from any of the communities throughout the region, we asked the prospective candidates this question:

Do you believe further decriminalization of illicit substances would help reduce the number of overdose deaths or reduce the crime related to the drug trade?

Conservative candidate Tracy Gray

I have spent a lot of time meeting with residents, service providers and medical professionals.

This addictions problem can also tie into mental health, and homelessness. Drug addiction and the associated criminal activity that emerges around it is complex — and no one approach is likely to adequately respond to the crisis we are facing as a society.  Health professionals, law enforcement agencies, educators and legislators must contribute to a comprehensive and coordinated response.

We need to work toward building a system of care where everyone who struggles with addiction is offered treatment and a pathway to recovery.

NDP Candidate Justin Kulik

The war on drugs is a failed policy.

Problems associated with the misuse of illicit substances should not be viewed as criminal issues. Rather, they should be viewed as health issues. Twelve people die as the result of an overdose every day.

That’s one death every two hours in Canada. Government needs to work to help people living with addition, rather than criminalizing and stigmatizing those that need support most. I support evidence-based approaches, especially for issues as important as this.

Further, I support the declaration of a National Health Emergency in relation to this crisis. Decriminalization of illicit substances is just one part of the fight, there is also a need to fight the stigma associated with addiction. To help this, I encourage each and every one of you that sees this, go out to a local pharmacy, pick up a naloxone kit and keep it with you. You never know when somebody might need it, so it’s better to be prepared with a kit that can save a life.

Green Party candidate Travis Ashley and Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr did not respond.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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. kathy

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