Kelowna-Mission Green party candidate Rainer Wilkins became involved with politics when he heard students were going hungry at his daughter’s school.
“I was shocked…I couldn’t believe in such a prosperous province that we have children here that are hungry,” he said.
Two of the main issues Wilkins is focusing on for this election are poverty and lack of funding for senior homes.
“To me, I think the disparity of wealth in this province and in this riding would be my number one issue,” he said, adding there has been record-high food bank use with users being children.
“It all comes down to affordability,” he said.
The Green Party is proposing to bring $40 million to long-term care homes. Wilkins has spoken to nurses about the current situation.
“They literally have to pick people they can’t look after that day because they just don’t have time to get to them, whose mother or father or grandparent or great-grandparent is that?”
Wilkins said the first step to a solution would be affordability for everyone, focusing on preventative health care measures and making drug prescriptions affordable for seniors.
Also introducing a basic income support for youth ages 12 to 18, along with establishing a new fair wage commission to determine what the new minimum wage should be are two solutions, said Wilkins, along with determining a low-income benefit for families.
Taxing those who do not live in their homes full time would be a way to cool the housing market and make living more affordable, he said.
Wilkins has lived in Kelowna for more than 12 years. With a degree in economics, he owns a small wine business.