Letter: Kelowna voters supported CCF, precursor to NDP

…in federal elections of 1948, 1949 and 1953 Kelowna voters elected O.L. Jones, CCF candidate for the riding of Yale.

To the editor:

In the Friday, Sept. 11 Capital News, Kathy Michaels wrote ’50 Shades of Blue’ looking at Kelowna’s voting history in federal politics.

She missed reporting that in federal elections of 1948, 1949 and 1953 Kelowna voters elected O.L. Jones, CCF candidate for the riding of Yale (later Okanagan Boundary). He ably represented the riding and sat on numerous parliamentary committees from 1948-1957.

O.L. Jones had a furniture store on Bernard Avenue and was Kelowna’s mayor from 1930 to 1939.

The CCF (Canadian Co-operative Federation) formed in 1932, was precursor to the NDP party. At their 1933 convention in Regina, the CCF adopted the (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Manifesto) Regina Manifesto as the party’s program. Goals included universal public pensions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pension),  universal health care (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care), children’s allowances, unemployment insurance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_benefits), and workers’ compensation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_compensation).

Although small in numbers they were able to lobby for and convince governments of the day of the importance of these programs that we now take for granted.

Tommy Douglas, likely the most famous CCF founding member, brought in Medicare when he was premier of Saskatchewan in the 1940s.

I’m proud to have been brought up in a CCF family. My father, Art Hughes-Games, was deeply involved in O.L. Jones’ campaigns and the local CCF party.

Gwen Steele, Kelowna