Updated: Sep 17
I have decided to run to be the Nominee for BC Untied for Kelowna - Lake Country - Coldstream. Will call it KLC for short unless someone comes up with something different.
I have been following BC Politics my whole life. I have voted anytime I was living here during an election, sometimes we won and sometimes we didn't. For the most part the pendulum has only swung back and forth a little with things staying reasonably in the center. Never enough to cause real problems when it moved left, and never enough progress when it moved to the right. However, I have noticed that we are having a crisis of Leadership and faith in our political institutions. I am seeing that my children might not have the same opportunities as I have had and because of that have decided to get involved in the process as more than an observer and voter.
Last year I saw lots of problems with our city council here in Kelowna and after being told that if I was going to keep complaining, maybe I should try and do something about it. So, I decided to run for council. I didn't have any name recognition and had a low public profile but thought I should try anyway. My message was fairly straight forward we needed to stop just talking and planning and start doing. We need to plan for the future and execute that plan whether it be for traffic issues, water systems or sewage treatment. I believe people need to take responsibility for themselves and be held accountable for their decisions and actions. The RCMP need to do their job and arrest people for breaking the law. After they are arrested then our judicial system needed to start punishing the people that broke the law in some meaningful way. Homelessness is a problem and throwing money at it isn't making it any better. Well, when the dust settled, I received about 3000 votes or 1 in 10 people that voted chose me, sadly I needed closer to 1 in 6 or 7 people who voted, so not a councilor.
Then I saw that the new provincial riding was where I live. I went to school and lived in Lavington when i was a kid and have lived either in this new riding or right beside it most of my life, currently I have lived here in Black Mountain for over 10 years. I saw this as a sign that maybe I should try again. I believe that many of the issues I think are important are not just City issues but Province Wide. Kelowna has a disproportionally large share of the BC homeless population, and why not, everyone wants to live here, it is difficult to blame homeless people for wanting to live in the best place in Canada. However, I don't think it is fair for the brunt of the cost to be borne by the citizens of Kelowna. With the provincial Government deciding to try and take over zoning regulations for cities it will make it harder for cities like Kelowna to plan their infrastructure. The courts are provincial, and they definitely need some work. So why not run, I believe that I would make a great representative for the people of KLC.
This part may get long so feel free to skip it if you aren't interested in my life story, I include it because there might be 1 or 2 people that want to know :)
A little about me I have done many things in my life. I was born in Vernon. watched the moon landing on a black and white TV in my moms and my mobile home in Kelowna when I was about 4 years old. I lived in Washington state when I was 5 until i was about 7 and then we moved to Vernon, then Lavington then Vernon then Lumby. I went to elementary school and Highschool there. Except for a brief year and a half when I went to Langley for Grade 9 and some of grade 10. I worked during High school in my grandfather's gravel business and at his mechanics shop cleaning and doing the stuff nobody else wanted to do. I also worked at the Lucky Dollar grocery store after school for about a year. I worked a lot during high school I needed to in order to afford my 1969 Acadian it was a terrible car that cost a fortune to keep on the road. After Highschool I went to work for the family business in Calgary selling Stucco and landscape products in our store. I eventually moved to Langley and worked at a bar and then as a DJ in a few Bars in the lower mainland. I also worked for Heritage Office furniture in Vancouver part time. I did some extra work in TV productions like 21 Jump Street and Macgyver thought I might try being an actor but I kind of sucked at it. I did a few other things here and there got married moved to Armstrong had a small personal watercraft rental business on OK Lake and then bought a small sign and printing company. Sold that, went to school for Computer network engineering in Kelowna got divorced worked in Kelowna for a while then moved to Vancouver and worked downtown running a large computer network for a company in the Bentall Towers. I moved to Kelowna and began Stock trading for a company called Swift Trade which I did for a while until I bought a Bar in Salmon Arm which I ran for a few years and then eventually sold. I decided to travel a bit and while in South America met my future wife in Ecuador. I came back to Kelowna and worked for Swift Trade and decided to get married. In order for this to happen I had to move to Ecuador and thought I might stay there. I could continue with my Stock Trading and all would be good. After a year I convinced my wife, we should move to Canada, so we did. I applied to have my wife come and we had to fill out the paperwork and wait a long time. We did everything legally and it was involved. We landed in Edmonton on I believe December 18th, 2008, in what looked like a blizzard I thought my wife was gonna fall over when she saw all the snow. We caught our next flight to Kelowna and eventually got situated in Vernon. We stayed there for a while and then moved to Kelowna where i worked for H&R Block doing computer stuff as well as a doing computer upgrades etc. for various banks all over BC. I then worked at Shaw Cable in the tech support dept and eventually found my way to the Oilfields as a heavy equipment operator. Last but not least I became a real estate agent working here in Kelowna. Along the way I have had 4 children my youngest 2 are still living at home 11 and 8 years old.
I believe that my diverse experience has made it possible for me to relate to people from many different walks of life and I can understand where they are coming from and why certain things may be more important to them then to others. Many young people need opportunities and some direction in their lives without it they have a hard time staying focused and improving their lives. If you are a business person you need to be able to navigate the rules and bureaucracy so that you can be successful. It needs to be easy not convoluted and everyone needs to follow the same set of rules and be held to the same standard, it is the only way businesses have an equal opportunity to survive and thrive. If you are working out of town, it is hard on your family and the labour rules need to be fair and flexible for both the employee and the employer so that an employee gets to spend quality time with their loved ones. We need to have a balanced approach to working, rules and legislation need to help the employer without taking advantage of an employee. If it isn't balanced many of our businesses will go somewhere else and employees may have to follow or suffer economic hardship. Our businesses are what make everything else possible without successful businesses we will not have any resources to do anything in this Province. The governement doesn't create prosperity and wealth its job is to make a system that allows for our businesses to flourish and be prosperous, this is where our wealth comes from. Our standard of living is only as good as our businesses success.
I am a believer in incrementalism. The constant re-examination of things and processes to break apart complex systems to identify problems and then make small changes to affect the process in a positive way. In other words, fix little bits so everything works better. I always look back at my Bar when I think of this, I had several employees, and they were mostly pretty young and needed a lot of supervision. It was a fun place and sometimes work wouldn't get done. I had to put in place systems and checks and balances to make sure that everything that needed to be done was. I also needed to streamline what I needed to do. Automated spreadsheets and tracking systems for inventory. Small changes over time freed up my time so that I could concentrate on making sure my customers were happy and my staff was getting things done. Now, sometimes you just have to scrap things and start again I learned that in the sign business if a design isn't working sometimes, you just need to wipe it clean and start again. This is the approach I believe our provincial government needs to take. First removing unnecessary legislation and streamlining and fixing what's left. If it is just plain bad then scrap it and start again.
I think that is enough for today will continue another day...