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Enbridge pipeline debate comes to Kelowna

B.C. Premier Christy Clark - Contributed
B.C. Premier Christy Clark
— image credit: Contributed

The issue of pipelines—as well as several others, including education, the government’s relationship with teachers, First Nations rights and the environment—is returning to the Central Okanagan.

With the announcement that the executive vice-president for Western access for Enbridge, Janet Holder, will speak to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce here Friday, a group calling itself the Westside-Kelowna By-Election Discussion Group has announced plans to hold a public forum Saturday, July 6, at the Unitarian Hall in downtown Kelowna, located at 1310 Bertram Street.

The forum, scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., is being billed as a chance to discuss issues relevant to the upcoming Westside-Kelowna byelection.

The speakers will include Alice Rees, the outgoing president of Central Okanagan Teacher’s Association; Damien Gillis, filmmaker; Joan Phillip, a long -time Okanagan aboriginal leader and activist from Penticton; and Charles Boylan, a radio broadcaster. The moderator will be Robert MacDonald, of the Okanagan Institute.

Gillis and Philip were speakers at a forum about the proposed pipeline here in the spring and both spoke out against it.

“The byelection is an opportunity to discuss the practice of the Liberal government and hold it to account,” said Boylan of the upcoming forum.

On Friday, Holder will speak to the chamber about her company’s plans to meet the five demands set by the provincial government to gain its support of the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

The chamber luncheon is a ticketed event with tickets costing $40 for chamber members and $50 for what it calls “future members.” Tickets must be bought in advance.

On Thursday, July 4, at the Westbank Lions Community Hall, the eight candidates in the Westside-Kelowna byelection will face off in an all-candidates debate.

Premier Christy Clark, the NDP’s Carole Gordon, B.C. Conservative Sean Upshaw, Jag Bhandari of B.C. Vision and four independents, Daylene Van Ryswyk, Silvarado Socretes, Korry Zepik and John Marks are running in the byelection.

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