NDP candidate Shelley Cook.

NDP candidate Shelley Cook.

Local Election Issues: NDP Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook is hearing one thing while she’s campaigning—they want change in Kelowna West

Change.

That’s what Kelowna West NDP candidate Shelley Cook has been told people want most as she hits the campaign trail.

“It’s wonderful to be in a position where people trust you with their deepest concerns and will just share those things over lemons at the market, at coffee shops and on street corners,” said Cook, the day after the writ was dropped. “I see it as a real gift, and I also feel concerned about what I’m hearing from people.”

People are telling her they want to see changes to their bank balances, in the schools they’ve enrolled their children in and the places where seniors are turning to as they require more help.

Among measures aimed at easing the financial burden and creating that change, the NDP says they would implement a $400 rebate for each rental unit in B.C. and a hydro-rate freeze if elected and would also look to create a $10 a day daycare plan.

Housing is also an issue. The average selling price of a single-family home in the Central Okanagan has reached $638,000, which is unaffordable for many. The rental vacancy rate for apartments is an ultra-tight 0.5 per cent and rents are at an all-time average high.

“I think there’s also a general concern about good jobs in this community,” she said. “We are seeing higher job rates in other parts of B.C. than we see here. Also, the quality of those jobs are what’s important here.”

Monthly job stats indicate that the Central Okanagan has a 7.8 per cent unemployment rate. Cook said she’s particularly concerned.

“Honestly, I don’t know how people are managing,” she said.

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BC Votes 2017