Clark faces off in her only Okanagan debate

Kelowna-West candidates met for an on-air B.C. election forum Wednesday morning

  • May. 3, 2017 10:50 a.m.

Election forum in brief:

Kelowna-West incumbent Liberal MLA Christy Clark joined her competitors for her first and only BC Election forum in the Okanagan region, Wednesday morning.

Green party candidate Rob Mellalieu, NDP candidate Shelly Cook and Christy Clark sat down with AM 1150’s Phil Johnson for a 90-minute debate on air — which was not open for public attendance. Independant candidate Brian Thiessen was not in attendance.

The forum started off on the topic of health care, beginning with the question of solving the doctor shortage in the province.

Health Care

Liberal Christy Clark believes her party has created the best outcome for the province and said that since she was elected they have built five new hospitals and 11 expansions, all with a balanced budget.

Green Rob Mellalieu said a medical crisis was created and left by the Liberals. He claimed having elders dying in hospital hallways isn’t the best outcome for healthcare in the province.

While NDP Candidate Shelly Cook said her party is looking at a comprehensive system of care, and is looking at team based as well as urgent care models.

All candidates were asked their view of having nurse practitioners in hospitals and care units with doctors to provide oversight — all three somewhat agreed on the nurse practitioners program and it’s benefit for healthcare.

The forum tackled the issue of mental health, with Cook claiming the NDP will create a mental health ministry that will work both with other ministries and the federal government.

While Clark understands B.C. residents feel the current system is fragmented, she said that the Liberals are working to put more money into mental-health resources such as the Foundary in Kelowna.

However Mellalieu’s response was to react to Clark’s answer by asking why she always uses jobs and economy as a pivotal point instead of focusing on the important issue of mental health.

To which Clark challenged Mellalieu saying residents without out jobs can’t provide for families which means they can’t properly take care of them if someone they love is suffering from mental-health issues.

Overdose crisis

From the dealing with the overdose crisis to party platforms on marijuana all candidates had varying views on the issues.

Clark said politics must be put aside when talking about the overdose crisis and while more investment needs to be done the Liberals are making headway.

While the NDP believes more needs to be done besides making naloxone kits available and said instead the focus should be on prevention.

Green candidate Mellalieu said the overdose crisis stems from issues surrounding mental health and the focus should start there.

Environment

Candidates were asked how they will handle President Donald Trump if elected and what will be done for the softwood lumber industry.

Mellalieu stated that the U.S. must be dealt with from a position of power and getting involved in a trade war isn’t something a province should be doing.

Both he and Cook agreed when it comes to softwood lumber the industry needs to look at other ways to market itself besides the U.S.

While Clark said she is standing firm, she wants to slap a levy on exports of thermal coal from British Columbian ports.

From there the three touched on taxes, transportation and the future for B.C.

More to follow.

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

Rutland students help less fortunate

At Rutland Senior Secondary, students are helping the homeless this holiday season

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Most Read