Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Norm Letnick.

Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Norm Letnick.

Kelowna-Lake Country: Liberal Norm Letnick

Incumbent points to what’s been accomplished here and what’s to come.

Norm Letnick says community service has always been important to him.

The BC Liberal candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country, who’s running for re-election in a riding he has represented since 2009, has a long history of public service.

“I guess I have been serving all my life,” says Letnick, a former town councillor in Banff, AB and former city councillor in Kelowna.

But whether it was cadets in high school, student council in university, the chamber of commerce during his working career or as an MLA and, since 2012, as B.C. agriculture minister, Letnick said it’s the issues his constituents tell him are important that he tries to keep top of mind. Whether it’s money for local transportation improvements, healthcare infrastructure, agriculture, technology, water or a myriad of local programs, Letnick prides himself as a political advocate for the area.

“I’ve been a fighter all my life. I’ve always had to compete for everything,” says Letnick. “When you look at the long list of (provincial) investments here, I think a lot has to do with that fighting attitude.”

But while proud of the past, Letnick, who will turn 60 this year, says he’s not just looking back. He says if the Liberals are re-elected, his party’s fiscal plan calls for B.C.’s operating debt to be paid off in four years, the first time that will have happened in B.C. since the late 1970s. And for him growing the economy and maintaining a balanced budget are “a line in the sand.”

The former college professor, who is married and whose three grown children live in the Kelowna area, easily won in Kelowna-Lake Country in 2009 and 2013, taking 58 per cent of the vote four years ago.

But he said he cannot be complacent.

“This is not a lock, you have to be out there earning every vote,” says Letnick.

For more 2017 BC Election coverage click here.

—Alistair Waters

BC Votes 2017