Krystal Smith is a long-time progressive organizer and public servant running as the BC NDP candidate in Kelowna-Mission.
Krystal was born at KGH and grew up just a few blocks away at Richter and Elliot.
Her mother and role model Eva raised her as a single parent.
She attended Kelowna Secondary School and played rugby and other sports at Parkinson Rec Centre.
Krystal began advocating for the well-being of her community as a student leader at UBCO where she served on UBC’s Board of Governors.
She led her student union and was instrumental in the negotiations of Universal Bus Pass that Kelowna students still enjoy today. She moved to Kamloops to serve the students of Thompson Rivers University.
Most recently, she has served as a public servant with the ministry of citizen services.
Krystal has developed strong advocacy and policy skills through her work leading campaigns and delivering results for people and organizations across B.C. that are working to make life more affordable, create good jobs and a sustainable economy, and improve services for people.
Krystal is running to put her tireless energy and experience in getting the job done to work for the people of Kelowna-Mission.
What is the most important issue in your riding?
There are two key issues in this election. The first is an economic recovery from the pandemic that works for everyone, not just those at the top. We need the economy to work for people and John Horgan has a plan that is working.
B.C. has just added 55,000 jobs this past month under his leadership and the economy is continuing to recover. These are unprecedented times and John Horgan has your back and so do I.
The second issue is accessible health care for all. The pandemic has shone a light on 16 years of BC Liberal neglect of care homes and medical supports for seniors. Kelowna is a vibrant community and one that many folks choose to retire in. Those seniors deserve a government that puts their needs first: that’s what John Horgan and the BC NDP will do.
What have you done to benefit your community in the past?
While living in Kelowna I was elected to the UBC Okanagan Students’ Union and worked for the UBC sustainability office on various issues to strive for a more sustainable campus in Kelowna. Negotiating a UPass agreement with the city and the university was a priority for students to reduce commuter traffic throughout the region.
I was successful in leading that and getting a subsidy from UBC for students at the Okanagan campus. This not only benefited students but the broader Kelowna community by contributing money, increasing transit ridership, and increasing routes throughout Kelowna.
I was active and a board member of the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre, which sadly had to close its doors due to BC Liberal funding cuts.
What will you do to represent your community in Victoria?
It would be a dream to represent Kelowna-Mission in Victoria. We need a strong voice who will be a part of the New Democratic caucus pushing on issues like, agriculture, tourism, and sustainability and what those policies mean for people living in Kelowna.
John Horgan is doing a fabulous job leading B.C. through the pandemic and we need an MLA on his team from Kelowna so that our needs are top of mind.