Conservative Tracy Gray rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Conservative Tracy Gray rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Election 2021: Tracy Gray — Conservative candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Tracy Gray is the incumbent Conservative candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Unsure who to vote for? Want to know more about your local candidates? Black Press Media has you covered with profiles of the candidates for Kelowna-Lake Country and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola. As election day approaches, we will publish short profiles of each candidate who responds to our request. These will be published on a first-come-first-serve basis as soon as the candidate comes in for a video interview and completes our written Q&A. All written responses are straight from the candidate, with edits only for grammar and style.

Provide a brief bio of yourself.

Tracy Gray is an entrepreneur, wife, mother, and has a 16-year-old lab/collie named Ozzy. Tracy moved to Kelowna in 1989, where she still lives today.

She’s proud to have raised her family and built her small business, Discover Wines, here in our community. Tracy received many accolades including 2006 RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.

Tracy has wide leadership experience as a former Kelowna City Councillor, Okanagan Water Basin Board Chair, on boards of BC Passenger Transportation Board, Prospera Credit Union, Okanagan Film Commission and more.

Since elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, Tracy was honoured to serve in the Conservative Party’s Shadow Cabinet for Interprovincial Trade and then Export Promotion and International Trade. Through extensive community outreach, Tracy is hearing about affordability, the environment, freedoms, ethics, fiscal responsibility, labour shortages, and mental health. Tracy will bring our priorities to Ottawa, not simply bring Ottawa’s message to us.

How do you plan to lead this riding out of the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you support the implementation of a proof of vaccination program?

In Ottawa, I’ve been advocating for earlier vaccine procurement and fighting to ensure that Kelowna-Lake Country received its fair share of vaccines. Thank you to all health care workers and my heart goes out to those affected by COVID-19.

The BC proof of vaccination system is under the jurisdiction of the province. I have heard from people worried about the increase in transmission from the Delta variant, from small business owners concerned about implementation and increased burden on their staff.

I have concerns about the lack of medical exemptions for people whose doctors have advised them not to get the vaccine at this time. I heard from a woman undergoing cancer treatment and a woman who’s pregnant with complications, both who say they have been advised not to get the vaccine and are wondering what options are available. Anyone with thoughts should reach out to their local MLA.

Can you name one recommendation from the TRC Calls to Action and any concrete plans to implement the recommendation if you are elected?

I believe that reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is imperative.

Conservatives have been calling on the Liberal government to implement TRC Calls to Action 71 through 76. These Calls to Action centre around missing children and burial information. A Conservative government will implement these Calls to Action.

We will provide resources for Indigenous communities to commemorate and honour all individuals discovered through the horrific findings at the sites of former residential schools.

Conservatives have also pledged to create comprehensive resources which will serve to educate Canadians on the tragic history of residential schools and the impacts it continues to have on Indigenous peoples today.

What are your personal ideas regarding climate change and how do you plan to represent your riding’s specific interests in this regard, for example, wildfires and extreme drought?

Climate change is real, and we need to take a comprehensive approach to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment.

Under the Liberals, Canada was the only G7 nation to see our GHG emissions increase. Liberals have large promises, but no achievements.

Conservatives have a climate change plan which was independently analyzed to confirm that we will meet our Paris Accord reduction targets, while creating jobs and growing the economy. Working with all levels of government will be important.

In Ottawa, Conservatives championed banning the dumping of raw sewage into our water systems. The Liberals opposed this measure and allowed 8 billion litres of raw sewage to be dumped into the St Lawrence River. A Liberal previous election promise was to plant 2 billion trees, of which none have been planted.

Canada’s Conservatives will take ambitious, practical, and effective steps to combat climate change and protect the environment.

Which Canadian political figure, past or present, inspires you the most and why?

Bill Bennett inspired me since I first met him when he visited Mission Hill Winery, where I was working at the time.

Premier Bennett encapsulated the best of politics where he had a vision to build up British Columbia, followed through on it, and pulled us out of the 1980’s recession.

I was privileged to get to know Mr. Bennett once I founded Discover Wines, which was located in Orchard Plaza, where his family business was actually my commercial landlord.

He would frequently shop in my store, share political stories, his thoughts on current events, and had genuine interest in hearing about the struggles small business owners like myself were facing. The celebration of life at the Delta Grand when he passed away had people from all over the country attend who paid tribute to him and his family showing their respect for him as a person and politician.

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