Amanda Poon

Amanda Poon

Meet the candidates: Kelowna-Mission – Amanda Poon (Green)

I was born in Edmonton but I have deep roots in many Kelowna communities.

My mother’s family relied on the oil and gas industry for work. Their livelihoods and hardships followed the boom and busts of that industry. My father’s family originally emigrated from Hong Kong to find work with the CPR railway.

Adapting to Alberta’s “work hard, play hard” culture reaped rewards, but came with personal costs. My father’s struggle with substance abuse encouraged my mother and her new husband to seek a new life in B.C. We found an affordable home and employment on a Bible Camp in West Kelowna. Here, I developed a deep love for nature, animals, gardening, fishing and being part of a community where everyone is welcome.

I am a lifelong learner with a Basic Accounting certificate, a Business Administration Diploma, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria.

What is the most important issue in your riding?

Health care and wellness is top of everyone’s mind in our community as we face concurrent crises. These crises include flattening the curve of COVID-19, recovering the economy safely without leaving anyone behind, the opioid crisis, and climate change. These crises have widened socio‐economic inequalities, and caused deep social divisions. Respecting public health guidelines is critical, but social isolation has also disconnected us from one another. We spend more and more time arguing online and less time connecting in the real world to better understand and help one another.

Families are struggling to balance new back to school protocols with their work-life priorities.

My interest in health care leads me to work in the fitness and healthy food industries. I’m now employed as an analyst with Interior Health. I will make mental and physical health a top priority if elected the next MLA of Kelowna‐Mission.

What have you done to benefit your community in the past?

I have volunteered with many Kelowna organizations in the past to support those in need, including Project Literacy, United Way. Because mental health and substance use has had such a profound impact on my family, I have been drawn to volunteer with people experiencing homelessness and addictions through events like the Coldest Night of the Year, and as a volunteer with the Welcome Inn Shelter last winter. I was a board member of One Big Table, a co‐op grocery store that supported local food production and a 100 Mile Diet.

I am the current president of the Kelowna Downtown‐Knox Mountain Neighbourhood Association.

In this role, I am an advocate who listens closely to neighbourhood concerns and works diligently to represent neighbourhood interests before city council.

What will you do to represent your community in Victoria?

I am an experienced community builder and connector. I am encouraged by the surge of good community will I’ve encountered in my advocacy and volunteer work. People in our community are tired of career politicians who put partisan loyalties over the greater good of the people they serve. The NDP and BC Liberals have failed to demonstrate leadership that moves us forward instead of sidestepping left and right. I am uniquely qualified to represent Kelowna’s diverse needs and interests. I have lived in West Kelowna, Joe Rich, Black Mountain, Rutland, the Upper Mission, Downtown, and Glenmore. My conservative, rural, working-class upbringing underscores my values. My academic and work experience in both the private and public sectors informs my belief these sectors function best when cooperating rather than competing.

If elected the first BC Green I will put the long-term interests of the people over the short-term profits of foreign shareholders to build a resilient future for everyone.

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