North Okanagan Shuswap candidates respond to questions from Black Press Media. (File image)

North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates respond

What would you and your party do to promote inclusivity and political consensus in the country?

As the days count down to the 43rd federal election on Oct. 21, North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates are answering questions of local and national concern among voters. This week they were asked: With some politicians in North America and the world using intolerant rhetoric and policies, what would you and your party do to promote inclusivity and political consensus in the country?

Mel Arnold

Conservative Party

I stand with my Conservative colleagues in our commitment to upholding the rights of all Canadians regardless of their ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

I will continue to operate with an inclusive open-door policy of being accessible to all constituents and being responsive to their needs to the best of my ability. The Conservative Party will continue to present inclusive policies providing opportunities for all Canadians to not just get by but get ahead.

For promoting political consensus, I have worked, and will continue to work, across party lines, to achieve results that benefit all Canadians. In the same way, the Conservative Party is committed to focusing on matters and solutions that promote consensus, not division.

Inclusivity and political consensus can only exist when there is tolerance and for these objectives to be fully realized, we must not only seek tolerance, we must also reciprocate it.

Kyle Delfing

People’s Party

The People’s Party does not use rhetoric. We are founded on the principals of personal responsibility, individual freedom, respect and fairness. Most of our policy has been online for the better part of a year. Our aboriginal and veterans’ policies are our newest policies. We feel our policies are fair and respect the rights of all Canadians. We have seen our party grow quickly in its first year. I believe the People’s Party of Canada has something for all Canadians which will bring our country together.

Cindy Derkaz

Liberal Party

Since 2015, I have seen an increase in fake news and intolerance in local and national politics. Canada is not immune from rising populism.

I try to lead by example by being inclusive, respectful, building consensus and not engaging in personal attacks. I believe MP’s must work across party lines and set aside hyper-partisanship; particularly on big issues such as climate action.

The Liberal party is founded on the principles of inclusion and diversity: ideally, caucus and cabinet should reflect Canada’s population. The party actively supports participation by women and minorities at all levels. I have benefited from encouragement and advice from Justin Trudeau, women’s caucus and women’s commission. I am running to be the first woman elected to represent this riding in Ottawa.

Good news: the 2019 candidates in North Okanagan Shuswap have agreed to be respectful and collegial towards each other and their teams. It’s a start.

Marc Reinarz,

Green Party

The use of intolerant rhetoric and policies by a number of politicians may become the single most serious obstruction to mitigating climate change. The science is there as a means to get attention to the real issues and solutions. It is important to work with the industries involved to fight climate change, and I am talking to “big oil” already. The industry itself is wise and powerful enough to support the science and the movement to clean energy. We already see the move of some large oil corporations to have established clean or renewable divisions that are as, or more successful than their fossil fuel divisions. There is hope. We will work with, rather than against the energy sector.

Harwinder Sandhu,


Inclusivity is so near and dear to me as I am a woman of colour. I recognize the need and importance of inclusivity in today’s world where it seems like we are going backwards. The NDP has a very strong, clear and bold stance to promote and support through many of our platform directions such as supporting the Indigenous people, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, women’s rights and strong representation for marginalized, underrepresented Canadians. We are proud to share that our candidate slate reflects inclusivity so well by having: 49 per cent women, 12 per cent LGBTQ+, 25 per cent are members of racialized communities, eight per cent are Indigenous people, six per cent are living with disabilities, six per cent are young people! We believe that in diversity and inclusivity there is a beauty and Inclusivity along diversity is our strength. We need to build inclusive Canada and we can only do this together.


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