Kwasnica shaped by experience in military

Green party candidate for Boundary-Similkameen believes ecological technology could be a benefit for smaller towns

John Kwasnica is the Green party candidate for Boundary-Similkameen MLA.

John Kwasnica is the Green party candidate for Boundary-Similkameen MLA.

Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series of profiles of the candidates for Boundary-Similkameen MLA.


Raised in a military family, and a UN Peacekeeper at one time himself, the Green party candidate for the Boundary-Similkameen has experienced varied cultures throughout his life.

It was the one he found in the South Okanagan he fell in love with. John Kwasnica has been a resident of Oliver for 25 years and a longtime Community Living worker.

While living in Vancouver with his wife Angela, a visit with his parents at their orchard in Oliver prompted the couple to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city for a quieter life to raise their four children.

“We thought why are we living in busy Vancouver when we could be living in this beautiful place. We decided to relocate and we never looked back,” said Kwasnica.

If his face seems familiar to theatre-buffs in the South Okanagan, it is because in his spare time he has performed with the South Okanagan Players and Actors in many productions.

Kwasnica quickly became integrated into the community, helping the crew of volunteers who built the bike path around Oliver. He also was a volunteer firefighter for four years, but because of a conflict with his work schedule he had to put that aside for now.

A former supporter of the NDP, Kwasnica said he became acquainted with their party policies through his work with unions.

“I began to see I was disillusioned with the NDP. Of course, they were in power at that time, and with all the things that were going on with the fast ferries and everything else I became disgruntled and decided to seek a different philosophy, which brought me to the Green party,” he said.

Kwasnica said the decision to put his hat in the ring this election was simple after supporting the party in the past three elections.

“It’s a case of no one in B.C. seems to be very happy with the present political party in power and people remember when the NDP were in and they are not sure whether they really want them back again,” said Kwasnica.

“I thought maybe we could build a bigger base for the Green party to get their platform out there.”

The Green party candidate said it seems the smaller towns want more industry, and he believes his party can provide an opening for that with ecological technology like geo-thermal and wind-power industries.

Kwasnica joined the Canadian Forces out of high school, following in his father’s footsteps, who was in the Air Force for 28 years, by working as a UN Peacekeeper for about five years.

He was assigned to transport supplies across the Gaza Strip following the Arab-Israeli War of 1973.

“You begin to appreciate life and the way it is treated here in North America. Life is kind of cheap over there, and it is unfortunate that is the way it is and always has been,” said Kwasnica.

“I think that formed me as the person I am today. It informed me and helped me mature.”


Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read