Former prime minister Stephen Harper speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on March 26, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jose Luis Magana)

Former prime minister Stephen Harper speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on March 26, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jose Luis Magana)

Ex-Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper visits Kelowna as local race heats up

Harper visited with Conservative candidate Tracy Gray and spoke at the Level Up conference

Federal party candidates in the Okanagan were shown support by their former party leaders this week.

Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister from 2006 to 2015, visited with Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative candidate Tracy Gray. Harper was in town to speak at the Level Up leadership conference alongside former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien and local entrepreneur Lane Merrifield.

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Harper, part of the Conservative party’s fundraising branch, was featured in a promotional video earlier this month supporting the party and party leader Andrew Scheer.

In the video, Harper echos the Conservatives’ campaign slogan.

“It’s important that we all get active because Canada is at a turning point. Right now, hard working families are getting by, but they’re not getting ahead.”

One of Scheer’s biggest campaign promises has been to cut personal income taxes.

Former prime minister Chretien was also in town last week and visited with Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr. Chretien commended Fuhr’s hard work and progress in the Okanagan and dismissed the blackface, brownface scandal surrounding Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

While plenty of supporters and voters greeted Chretien, Harper made less of a splash.

Kelowna conservatives, however, took to Gray’s social media to show their support.

“What a privilege to have Stephen Harper in the Okanagan,” read one comment.

“Best PM this country has ever had,” read another.

The local election race in Kelowna-Lake Country is heating up as it enters week four of the campaign, with other candidates Justin Kulik of the NDP, Travis Ashley of the Green Party, John Barr of the People’s Party, Darrin Fiddler of the Marijuana Party and independent Daniel Joseph continuing to campaign.

Election day is Oct. 21

– with files from the Canadian Press

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