Penticton MLA Dan Ashton jokes that possibly the only people surprised that he is running for another term are his children.
“I’ve enjoyed it. I would like to stay for another term if at all possible; we will leave that up to the electorate next May,” said Ashton.
Ashton was acclaimed this week as the B.C. Liberal Party’s candidate for the upcoming 2017 election. Ashton was mayor of Penticton from 2008 to 2013, when he resigned after being elected to the provincial legislature in the 2013. Prior to that, he served as a Penticton councillor from 1999 to 2008. Ashton said the $321-million expansion to the Penticton Regional Hospital is probably the biggest accomplishment of his first term as MLA.
“The hospital is definitely number one. We have all worked so hard,” said Ashton. “Also the contributions I have been able to bring from the government here, $6.5 million in grants that have come forward.”
That includes $2 million to support the Penticton downtown revitalization project, new education funding for local school boards, along with investments in green infrastructure including $2.26 million for the Summerland water separation project, and $730,000 for the Summerland to Trout Creek trail.
“We want our kids to have good paying jobs in the interior. We want them to choose to stay here — to build a successful career,” said Ashton in a release. “Our communities are changing, no question, and there is still work to be done, but our future is exciting with a top performing economy and the best job creation record in the country.”
As a rookie MLA, Ashton was tapped by the Liberal government for some high-profile positions: he is parliamentary secretary for the Minister of Finance and serves on the Treasury Board, the Finance and Government Services committee, and was vice-chair of the core review working group. He is also the B.C representative to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region,where he takes over as president in 2017.