Westside mayor says premier’s riding choice a ‘great opportunity’ for district

Mayor Doug Findlater said it might work to West Kelowna's advantage if Premier Christy Clark becomes Westside-Kelowna MLA.

When West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater met with MLA Ben Stewart to discuss local issues Tuesday afternoon, he had no idea Stewart would be giving up his Westside-Kelowna riding for Premier Christy Clark the next day.

“My initial reaction was: Wow,” said Findlater, noting he learned about Clark’s decision to run for the Westside-Kelowna riding in a byelection around noon Wednesday.

“Premier Clark is full of surprises.”

But as far as the District of West Kelowna is concerned, it might not be a bad surprise.

Findlater said the premier’s announcement will likely be a great lobbying opportunity for the district, especially while she hits the campaign trail in the coming weeks.

“I expect we’ll get her ear for a fair share of events,” said Findlater.

He added he’ll take it upon himself to make sure the premier is aware of local issues.

The West Kelowna mayor noted the region has been “well represented” in the past by high-profile federal and provincial politicians such as Stockwell Day and Rick Thorpe.

It is unlikely Clark will be able to attend the number of local events Stewart was able to during his four-year term as MLA.

Findlater said both Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick have familiarized themselves with many Westside issues; he’s optimistic the other two Central Okanagan MLAs could cover for the premier when needed if she’s elected MLA in a byelection this summer.

The four-year relationship between the district and Stewart was not always a smooth one.

During the summer of 2011, the district objected to a proposed land exchange between Westbank First Nation and the provincial government.

In November 2011, Stewart told Capital News the issue had put a strain on the relationship between governments.

“Our relationship was not strong at that time, as a result of that,” said Findlater.

“But in the last year or two, when we put that issue behind us, Ben has tuned into our issues…he’s been a really good advocate for us in the last couple of years.”

New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix announced Wednesday the party would run a candidate against Clark in the upcoming byelection.

Findlater said he looks forward to developing a working relationship with the future Westside-Kelowna MLA, regardless of the party he/she belongs to.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

Just Posted

Kelowna artist featured on furniture

Shandra Smith’s work is now available on credenzas

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

Man pinned under metal tank in West Kelowna

Emergency personnel are on the scene

Mudslide sends debris into Highway

Highway 33 near Joe Rich had mud spilled on the highway from the slide

Kangaroo Creek Farm hops into season

Lake Country’s popular tourist site has opened its doors for the season

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Sock Hop aims to send dancers back to another time

Writers’ Festival fundraiser in Salmon Arm springs into step for another year

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

Kootnekoff: R v. Sidhu, was he asleep?

Driver in Humboldt crash wasn’t distracted at time of collision with bus,… Continue reading

Most Read