Kelowna-Mission Liberal MLA Steve Thomson was named to two Liberal shadow cabinet critics roles Thursday, citizens’ service and trade.—contributed

Both Central Okanagan MLAs named to Liberal shadow cabinet

Norm Letnick and Steve Thompson are named to critics roles, with Thomson doing double duty.

For Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, the office may be different but the focus is the same when it comes to his new shadow cabinet critic role—agriculture.

Letnick, whose Liberal Party is sitting in Opposition for the first time in 16 years, has gone from being the province’s agriculture minister to one of two Liberal agriculture critics.

Letnick was named to the post Thursday, along with Delta South MLA Ian Paton, a Delta farmer. It was a job the Kelowna-Lake Country MLA said he asked for.

Meanwhile, Letnick’s fellow “Team Okanagan” MLA, Kelowna-Mission’s Steve Thomson, was tabbed for double duty in the shadow cabinet—named as both the citizens’ services critic and one of two Liberal trade critics. Thomson, the province’s former forest, lands and natural resource operations minister, was front and centre on many trade initiatives when the Liberal were in power.

“These were both areas where I expressed an interest,” said Thomson Thursday afternoon about his new shadow cabinet roles.

Letnick said given the success the province enjoyed in the agricultural sector under the Liberals—where he said the sector grew to become a $14 billion industry, exports grew to $3.6 billion, the number of people employed in the sector rose to 62,000 people from 56,000 and there were record profits for farmers—he will be keeping a close eye on how the new NDP Agriculture Minister Lana Popham manages the portfolio.

“I’m interested in overall outcomes,” he said. “And we’ll be watching.”

He described Popham as been a strong advocate for B.C. agriculture for her eight years in the Legislature, so he is hopeful she will build on the successful groundwork he feels his party laid in the past.

For Thomson, like Letnick one of several former cabinet ministers now serving as Opposition critics, the trade role is an important one. He shares it roll with Teresa Wat, a former B.C. international trade minister.

“I think we will work very well together,” Thomson predicted.

“The breadth of experience (in the shadow cabinet) will help keep the new government to account,” he added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna emergency crews rescue injured mountain biker

The woman fell from her bike on a Smith Creek trail

Hundreds of people gather at Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Almost 600 people are rallying in Stuart Park, downtown Kelowna

Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School launches part-time on-campus learning

The school has taken appropriate precautions for a safe return for staff and students

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

‘I just felt I had to do something’: Vernon Black Lives Matter protest organizer

Young woman organizes peaceful protest to take place next week at Vernon courthouse

Woman injured as purse snatched downtown Vernon

Two young men were arrested following detailed statements from witnesses

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Penticton principal Dave Ritchie.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

Most Read