Kelowna-Lake Country Tory nomination heats up as registration deadline closes - InfoNews

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Kelowna-Lake Country Tory nomination heats up as registration deadline closes

Renee Wasylyk, left, and Tracy Gray are the two candidates in the running for the federal Conservative nomination for the riding of Kelowna-Lake Country.
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March 11, 2019 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - Whoever wins the Conservative Party nomination for Kelowna-Lake Country has a great chance to be the Member of Parliament so it makes sense that it's become contentious. 

Renee Wasylyk and Tracy Gray are two strong candidates in the final stretch. They had until March 9 to sign up new members and Wasylyk says the drama from Ottawa with SNC-Lavalin and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn't hurt. 

“I think people are interested, I think they are activated, they’re engaged with the conversation and what is going on,” Wasylyk said. “With all the media that are focused politically, it is really helpful in having people ask questions and look for answers."

It's only a nomination meeting, but you know it's a big one when dirty tricks are spreading through social media and even draw in real political rivals, like Liberal Party members. Wasylyk brushed off rumours on social media that a Liberal faction was invading the nomination and the "Trudeau-supporting friends" were helping Wasylyk defeat Gray. 

“I don’t believe that’s the case. I haven’t witnessed that or seen that," she said. “What I do find is people are throwing their weight behind me, which is great. And I’m humbled by how many people have come out to meet and greet, have let me hear their stories and have honoured me with emails and phone calls and Facebook messages, etc.”

The deadline for new voting members for the riding association was March 9 but the vote is April 6.

“I can only imagine the other team is working as hard and doing as well so, I think, it’s going to be absolutely spectacular,” she said.

When interviewed by two weeks ago, Wasylyk said there were about 1,400 party members in this riding. That number was not confirmed by the local riding association, which has not responded to numerous requests for information.

Wasylyk said the number of eligible voters likely won’t be known until about March 14 as some memberships are mailed in.

She expects the riding association to stage a debate between the two candidates but doesn’t have any details yet.

The vote will be held at the Ramada Inn on April 6 with each candidate allowed a five-minute speech starting at 10 a.m. then leaving the building for the duration of the voting, Wasylyk said.

Gray was not available for comment.

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