If there is such a thing as a Green-Conservative, that hybrid would be Dr. Dietrich Wittel — independent candidate for the Okanagan Coquihalla riding.
“I like conservative values the way they use to be. I’m not sure which way the party is going nowadays. I have had a real issue with the nomination process,” said Wittel. “I am happy to be an independent independent candidate. I see how the party candidate can do nothing but quote the party policy. I can take back the message to Ottawa and not be restrained by any policy set by people in Eastern Canada.”
Wittel, who was born in Germany and moved to Canada in 1976, said as a medical student he was on the leading edge of the environmental movement in Germany, fighting water pollution and getting the phosphates out of detergents. In the 1980s he joined the Reform Party while living in Fairview, Alta. to fight “Eastern Canadian domination.” While there he also was a town councillor fighting against the waste of taxpayer money.
He has lived in the Penticton for the last 15 years, practising what he calls alternative or complimentary medicine at his own office called Chelation Medical Centres of the Okanagan.
“I try and combine the best of standard medicine with natural medicine. I basically practise what you call environmental medicine, removing toxins from people’s bodies with things as simple as vitamin C, and nutrition is a huge part of what I do,” said Wittel, who was a doctor in Germany and took additional training in Canada in head, neck, ears, nose and throat surgery.
His employees drive smart cars, work in an environmentally-friendly constructed office, and Wittel himself said he lives in a modest self-built house. The doctor also rubs shoulders with the likes of David Suzuki.
“That is just the kind of company I like to keep,” said Wittel.
He is a co-founder and vice-president of the True Food Foundation, a group devoted to the defence of the natural food supply. Keeping Canada’s food supply also happens to be one of the reasons he decided to throw his hat into the ring this election.
“I’m certainly the odd-man candidate. I may not seem all that serious at the forums and meetings, but I am dead serious about wanting to take the country back from the multi-nationals,” said Wittel.
When he isn’t waxing about politics, health and environment, Wittel said he likes to soak in the luxury of having the natural beauty that surrounds us in the Okanagan.
“I like fishing and spending time in the wilderness to get away from radio, television and cell phone reception all together,” said Wittel.