Orchardists to elect a new president

Tree fruit growers will meet in Kelowna this month to discuss the industry's issues and elect a new president and vote on the executive.

Orchardists will elect a new president at this month’s 123rd annual convention in Kelowna.

Joe Sardinha has served as president for the past seven years, and was on the executive of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association for four years prior to that.

Vice-president Fred Steele and Kirpal Boparai, both of Kelowna, have been nominated for the position, but nominations could be opened from the floor as well.

Water will be the theme for this year’s event, which will be held at the Coast Capri Hotel. Keynote speaker will be UBC-O assistant professor in anthropology John Wagner, talking about the Columbia River Treaty.

The annual general meeting will consist of a Thursday afternoon business session, followed by a Friday morning policy session, Jan. 26 and 27.

However, there will be a reception Thursday evening, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Laurel Packinghouse on Ellis Street, where the B.C. Orchard Industry and the Wine Museums are located.

Thursday’s agenda includes the financial statements, budget, reports from industry organizations, discussions about the environment and water, and project updates. It will run from 1 to 5 p.m.

Friday will feature the annual election of officers, including selection of a new president.

Amarjit Lalli, who was elected to the board last year, has been nominated for vice-president, along with Jeet Dukhia, who is not currently a member of the board.

Members will also consider such issues as labour, financial programs and member services at the Friday morning session which runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz will not be attending this year, but Sardinha said he’s hopeful that provincial minister Don McRae will be able to attend and will speak to orchardists Friday morning.

With even fewer growers on the membership roster than a year ago, BCFGA general manager Glen Lucas said he’s not expecting a large turnout.

However, those who do attend likely will be feeling frustrated by the past three years of low returns and the lack of government support for agriculture in general.

“Something needs to change,” commented Lucas, adding, “and government needs to take on some of that role.

“Without government there as a meaningful partner, there’s a sense of real uncertainty, which isn’t good for business,” he said.

“Time is of the essence. We need to know where we stand,” he said.

Resolutions growers have drafted to be discussed at this year’s meeting include one calling on government to re-instate the orchard replant or grafting program which provided some assistance for orchard renewal.

Growers are also concerned about the possible impact of any introduction of genetically-modified organisms to the industry and one resolution calls on regional districts to declare this area a genetically-engineered-free zone.

A resolution to support an agriculture water reserve has also been proposed, along with an increase in the province’s agriculture budget.



Just Posted

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Kelowna Chamber taps into world market

The chamber has partnered with the World Trade Centre to help local businesses expand

Grab a pizza tomorrow and help some deserving kids

Papa John’s stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna will be participating in the 4th-annual Dreams for Kids Day

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

Fender bender stalls Kelowna traffic

A two-vehicle accident stalled westbound traffic in Kelowna on Tuesday

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Condo contract rules target B.C. property flippers

Regulations to prevent property transfer tax evasion

Okanagan gymnasts on the mark at Canada Cup

OGC performs in Montreal, two athletes headed to Columbia

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Better standards are in place in British Columbia, meaning less fish have escaped, reports show

Most Read