Richard Cannings is the Member of Parliament for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

MP Report: Trails, fires and Donald Trump

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP rides the riding

Last Wednesday I finished my Ride-the-Riding trip, eight days of cycling through the South Okanagan, Boundary Country, and the West Kootenay. I did this last year as well, and it was a great success on three fronts.

First, it let me move through the riding slowly, stopping for breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner in cafes and pubs in communities of all sizes where I could meet anyone who wanted to have a chat. Second, it highlighted the many hiking and biking trails that are such an asset to our region. And finally, it gave me some much-needed exercise before heading back to Ottawa in mid-September — when they say parliament sits, they mean it!

So, what did I hear? Many people wanted to talk about Donald Trump and the situation south of the border. How should we be negotiating NAFTA and softwood lumber with an administration that seems to change its mind every morning at 3 a.m.? Others wanted to know my thoughts on the NDP leadership race that has been quietly simmering through the summer and is now coming to the surface as voting begins on Sept. 18. For the record, I would be happy to serve under any of the four candidates and have not yet made my decision as to who I will support on the first ballot.

Several mayors, councillors and regional district directors came out to events along the way, and it was good to meet with them again and talk about issues affecting the region. I was particularly happy to meet up with Doug McMynn, the new mayor of Midway, since we hadn’t met face-to-face before.

At a big pancake breakfast at Big White I talked to local business owners about that community, which has challenges not faced by other others in the region. One of their big concerns is to simply have a postal code assigned to the mountain, since now they are lumped in with rural Kelowna. I’ve been working on that issue since getting elected and I think we’re close to a solution. We left Big White just before the Joe Rich fire closed the road — and wildfires were of course another topic that dominated conversations throughout the tour.

Naturally, when I was cycling with locals along the trails, I heard of the issues around trail creation, maintenance and management. Events at Midway and Grand Forks during my trip celebrated some of the improvements to the trail, especially the new surface between Grand Forks and Christina Lake. One of the primary trail issues is in the South Okanagan, where many are advocating for a trail that would follow the old railbed along the west side of Vaseux Lake, allowing cyclists to travel off-highway from Okanagan Lake all the way to Osoyoos.

I finished the ride on the beautiful Slocan River Rail Trail. My bicycle odometer clicked over 519 kilometres at the end of the line, a long ride through some of the most beautiful country on the continent, and some of the friendliest people in the country. We are so fortunate to live in this place!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at Richard.Cannings@parl.gc.ca.

Richard Cannings is the MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

Just Posted

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

McIvor left a legacy of community building

Former Penticton librarian, city councillor and school trustee dies at home.

Crash closes Eckhardt briefly

It’s not clear if there were any injuries resulting from the minor crash

Penticton vacation rental licences quadruple since 2015

More than 100 of the approximately 140 business licences handed out by the city came since 2015

Penticton reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

Serious home invasion reported in Kamloops

Two people are in hospital with serious injuries following a home invasion

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Most Read