It’s still a couple of weeks from the writ being dropped, but NDP and Liberal candidates for the Penticton riding are gearing up their campaigns for the May 9 provincial election.
Dan Ashton, the incumbent Liberal MLA, set March 25 as the official grand opening for his campaign office at 102-290 Riverside Dr.
“I’m always excited to talk to citizens — as many as possible — from Naramata, to Penticton, Summerland and Peachland,” said Ashton. “This is my home. I am honoured to represent it. And I intend to keep fighting for local jobs and a strong B.C. economy — one that secures future investments in health care, education and housing, water infrastructure and the environment, and critical social programs that assist our most vulnerable.”
Tarik Sayeed, the NDP challenger, already has his campaign office set up, and is planning the grand opening for April 1, 535 Main St.
“That’s the Tiffany’s Boutique. We have two offices there,” said Sayeed, who had a special reason for setting his celebration for April 1. “It’s a good day to start and it’s my birthday.”
Sayeed has also been making contact with constituents, out door knocking. He’s finding that the issues he is talking about resonate, regardless of differences of opinion over ideology. Education funding, raising the minimum wage and other social issues seem to find an audience.
“The positive feedback we are getting into this campaign so far is probably because the citizens are responding and connecting well with these issues,” said Sayeed, adding that the Liberals under Premier Christy Clarke starved public education and neglected seniors’ care.
“I want to make it better for everyone,” said Sayeed.
Sayeed’s time on Penticton city council is shorter, but both candidates have that as a common background.
“After being on city council, I know what matters to the people here and I will work for them,” said Sayeed. “I would say that I know the current issues more than he does.”
Ashton’s campaign office will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, with regular office hours to be announced.
“Drop in, give me your thoughts, and pick up a sign if you wish. Your suggestions and support are greatly appreciated,” said Ashton.