Former MP Stockwell Day came back to Penticton to give a speech in support of Helena Konanz, who is running for one of the districts that was formed out of the one Day used to represent. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Video: Conservative candidate gears up for South Okanagan – West Kootenay campaign

The Conservative Party candidate received a boost with a speech from former MP Stockwell Day

By Brennan Phillips

Western News Staff

Helena Konanz has a big battle ahead of her in the upcoming Federal election.

Not only is she going up against current MP Richard Cannings, but she will have to travel a lot of ground due to the size of the South Okanagan – West Kootenay District riding that she is looking to represent.

“There are many different issues that are important, and that is because this is such a large riding,” said Konanz. “This riding goes all the way from Penticton to Osoyoos, and all the way across through Trail and Castlegar, and up to (Nakusp), and every community has specific issues that are important to them.”

So far, by Konanz’ count, her campaign has knocked on 14,000 doors. She hopes to triple that number before the election.

“It is a vote for Helena, or Trudeau,” Stockwell Day said during his speech.

Former MP of the Okanagan — Coquihalla District, which the South Okanagan — West Kootenay was formed out of, Day came down from Kelowna to give Konanz a boost.

The current Prime Minister and his track record was a repeated subject during the speeches. Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was mentioned only twice by Konanz, while Trudeau received many more comments and critcisms from both Konanz and Day.

“We cannot let what’s happening in Ottawa happen for four more years,” said Konanz. “In order to have a Conservative government, in order to make sure that Justin Trudeau does not get into office, we have to make sure that people know that a vote for our NDP MP, that another vote for him is a vote for Trudeau, and that’s the message we need to send out there.”

The biggest issue that she hopes to tackle if elected with regards to Penticton, is the rise in crime, something that she said the Conservative Party also wants to tackle across the country. Having served on Penticton’s City Council for a number years, having not sought reelection in 2018 in order to seek the position of Conservative candidate for the riding, she hopes to bring her experience with the area to the federal stage.

The next federal election will be on or before Oct. 21 this year.

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