B.C. Premier John Horgan stopped by the Barking Parrot in Penticton on March 13 to rub elbows with some of his constituents.
Horgan made an announcement that morning in Okanagan Falls that B.C. will allow 12-storey mass timber buildings, meaning more jobs in manufacturing and in the woods. Following this event, he hosted a casual meet and greet to chat briefly with constituents in Penticton and promote the NDP in this area.
“I’m going to be here as long as I can be, if anyone has anything they really want to talk to me about,” announced Horgan to the room 0f approximately 120 people.
The mood in the room was light as attendees had coffee and light lunches and Horgan wormed his way through the room, talking to as many as he could in a short time frame. He also took a moment to talk about the work he and his party have been doing, and the fact that he does not take his role for granted.
“The advantage of a minority government is you get up every day and say ‘This might be the last day, so what can we accomplish? What can we get done today if this is our last chance to do it?’,” said Horgan to a roar of laughter.
While not all attendees belonged to or identified with the NDP at the event, most seemed to have come with an open mind to speak candidly with Horgan about their concerns with the province.
“My biggest concerns are housing and jobs. In the Okanagan, the biggest problem we have is young families getting a start and although there’s a lot of seasonal jobs in this area, there’s not a lot of good, full-time employment that will get people into the housing market,” said Daryl Clarke, member of the board of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. “Most people that want to get into the housing market, they’re too young or don’t make enough money so they have to have two to three incomes or three or four jobs with no stability. So they can’t get much.”
Clarke said he does not identify as an NDP but he said allegiances doesn’t matter when it comes to making positive changes. He said he had not previously had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Horgan and was optimistic that he would be taken seriously and listened to.
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