Conservative candidate declares intentions
Another hat has hit the ring in the new South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, coming from the Conservative side of the fence.
With barely three years of politics under her belt, Penticton city councillor Helena Konanz announced Nov. 14 that she would seek the nomination for the Conservative Party of Canada in the new riding.
She says she was encouraged by many people to pursue the nomination when Dan Albas made the decision to represent the Conservatives in the new riding of central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola in the next federal election.
“I offer a fresh approach, and fresh face, to both the local Conservative members and the constituents of the new Electoral District of South Okanagan-West Kootenay,” said Konanz,
After graduating from UCLA with a political science degree, Konanz toured as a professional tennis player. After retiring from professional sports, Konanz worked in retail management in the U.S. until moving to the Okanagan 20 years ago with her husband and entering the small business sector.
The new riding of South Okanagan-Kootenay West encompasses the entire Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, as well as Castlegar, New Denver, Silverton, Slocan, and Nakusp and stretches into parts of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen including Penticton, Oliver, and Osoyoos.
The Southern Interior has been re-districted numerous times in the past, at times being branded Kootenay West-Revelstoke, Kooetnay-Boundary-Okanagan, and British Columbia Southern Interior.
The region has been an NDP stronghold for much of its history, other than the period from 1993 to 2006 when Jim Gouk held the MP's seat for the Reform Party, the Canadian Reform Alliance Party, and then the Conservatives, but Konanz said she can swing the new riding to the political right again in the next election.
"It's going to take somebody with a lot of energy and the time to spend with people," Konanz told the Trail Times. "I'm going to have to listen to all the things people in this area are concerned about and look for the similarities. I'll be out there to get feedback from the people."
— with files from the Trail Times