Local MLAs speak to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Norm Letnick, Ben Stewart and Steve Thomson focused on economic issues when they spoke Friday at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Local MLAs Norm Letnick, Ben Stewart and Steve Thomson focused on economic issues when they took the stage Friday at a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The provincial politicians spoke to Kelowna’s business community about progress on key capital projects, the BC Jobs Plan and the 2013 economic forecast.

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick told the crowd the Liberal government has done a lot over the past 11 years; however, there is a lot more that needs to be done.

He highlighted improvements to the Highway 97 corridor, including the Westside Road Interchange, the new stretch of highway near Winfield and Oyama and 47 km of four and six-lane upgrades between Osoyoos and Highway 1.

He added the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology has invested $162.5 million in UBCO since 2001 and $63 million in Okanagan College since 2005.

He noted a significant cycling improvement—a bicycle and pedestrian flyover, built near the Ellison overpass—will be constructed in the near future.

“There is no room on the bridge itself for bicycles going toward UBCO,” said Letnick.

In total, the provincial government has invested about $1.5 billion in capital projects in the Central Okanagan since 2001.

But, he admitted, much more needs to be done in the area.

Letnick told the business crowd that he, Stewart and Thomson are working to communicate with leaders of Central Okanagan communities to discuss capital projects that are seen as priorities.

“Over the next few months, we want to come up with an aspirational document: Where we see the future of our area,” said Letnick.

“Then (we’ll) present that to the people, and they’ll tell us whether we have it right or not.”



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