Incumbent declines to run for BCFGA president

BCFGA president Kirpal Boparai declined nomination at Wednesday's regional meeting in Kelowna.

At the third of four regional meetings held annually by the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association Wednesday night in Kelowna, incumbent Kirpal Boparai declined a nomination to run for president.

Instead, incumbent vice-president Jeet Dukhia of Vernon was nominated to the post, as well as Fred Steele of Kelowna, who was defeated last year by Boparai.

At the fourth regional meeting Thursday night, Steele was also nominated by Vernon region growers, along with Dukhia for the top spot.

Boparai, a Kelowna grower, was ousted from the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative earlier this year for not honouring his contract, and there was a resolution passed at the co-op’s annual general meeting in October calling for him to be removed by members from his position heading up the BCFGA.

In all four regional meetings, former BCFGA president Joe Sardinha, who stepped down from the executive after seven years in the top post, was nominated for vice-president.

However, at the Vernon meeting, Dukhia nominated Nirmal Dhaliwal of Oliver for the position of vice-president as well. He currently sits on the board representing the Southern District.

For regional and district positions, incumbents Amarjit Lalli of Kelowna, Jora Dhaliwal of Kelowna, Madeleine van Roechoudt of Lake Country and newcomer Sukhpaul Bal of Kelowna were nominated at the Kelowna meeting, and at the Vernon meeting, incumbent Amarjit Lalli and newcomer  Asif Mohammed were nominated to represent the Northern Region, while incumbent Madeleine van Roechoudt was nominated to represent the region.

At each of the Kelowna and Vernon meetings, Boparai read his annual president’s report, but he did not attend the two meetings in the south.

Members also proposed resolutions to be discussed at the annual general meeting Sat., Jan. 19 in Penticton.

At that meeting, those attending of the 600 eligible growers can vote to open the floor to further nominations.


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