Young Conservatives form club at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan

New club seen as way to drum up support as Tories try to win back Kelowna-Lake Country riding

In a bid to raise the level of political consciousness among college and university students in Kelowna, a new student club has been formed for both Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan students.

The new Winning Conservative Party Club is an attempt to get more young people involved with political issues and community concerns, as well as the federal Conservative Party, say organizers.

“They want to be more informed and participate in what’s going on around them, not only in their own city with a municipal election coming up, but within their province and country,” said a news release announcing formation of the club Monday.

“There has been the Young Liberals Club, so why not a Conservative Club?” said Parker Zakus, a first-year business student at Okanagan College.

Locally, the federal Conservatives have yet to nominate a candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country to challenge incumbent Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr in the next federal election. That vote is expected in the fall of 2019.

So far, just one person, local developer Renee Wasylyk has said she plans to seek the Tory nomination in the riding, while incumbent city councillor Tracy Gray is considering a run for the nomination but has yet to formally announce her intention.

The emergence of a young Conservatives club at OC and UBCO could be used by candidates seeking the nomination to drum up support by selling party memberships. A party membership is required to be vote in the nomination process.

Meanwhile, an election at another political level is just around the corner.

The B.C. civic election will take place Oct. 20, sending residents of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland, as well as the unincorporated areas of the Central Okanagan Regional District to the polls to elect mayors, councillors and elector area directors. Central Okanagan Board of Education trustees will also be elected Oct. 20.

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