NDP leader Mulcair hosting rally in Penticton

Tom Mulcair will be in Penticton on Aug. 31, with a rally scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

President Bill Downing (right) of Structurlam Wood Products explains the workings of the company's Okanagan Falls plant to federal NDP leader Thomas Muclair during a previous visit to the region. Muclair is scheduled to be in Penticton Aug. 31. Penticton Western News file photo

President Bill Downing (right) of Structurlam Wood Products explains the workings of the company's Okanagan Falls plant to federal NDP leader Thomas Muclair during a previous visit to the region. Muclair is scheduled to be in Penticton Aug. 31. Penticton Western News file photo

Federal election activity in the South Okanagan has been quiet so far, but it will go up a notch when NDP leader Tom Mulcair pays a visit to Penticton.

Mulcair will be in Penticton on Aug. 31, with a rally scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

Richard Cannings, the NDP candidate for South Okanagan West Kootenay, said the local organization has been asking for a visit from Mulcair.

“It does show that they consider this a key riding. We are happy to have that support,” said Cannings. “We got on the itinerary because they see we have momentum all across the province, so he is spending a lot of time in B.C.

“This riding in particular, it being a tight race between the Conservatives and the NDP, I am sure he wants to give us some support and have a big rally and show how people are excited about the NDP.”

It’s not the first time Mulcair has paid a visit to Penticton.

“He was here last year, in Feb. 2014 and I met him also when he was seeking the leadership, he had a lunch thing at the Hooded Merganser,” said Cannings. “A lot of people  don’t really know much about Tom, and when they meet him, they like him.

“That’s why he is getting out there.”

Commenting on Mulcair’s visit, Liberal candidate Connie Denesiuk said the more attention we draw to our riding, the better. She doesn’t know if Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will be making a similar visit, but said she would love it if he could.

“I have heard he would like to come through the Okanagan,” she said. “I am keeping my fingers crossed. I would love to introduce him to the people of South Okanagan West Kootenay.”

Marshall Neufeld, the Conservative candidate, did not respond to requests for comment by press time.