The Community Foundation’s Vital Signs report highlights Penticton’s need for jobs, skills training, and higher literacy levels.
It reveals a median income level below the B.C. average, higher poverty levels, and increased food bank use.
Successive city councils have cited the lack of well-paying jobs. Surely the time has come to reflect on why, after voting for Conservative MPs for so long, Penticton is still struggling to decrease poverty levels and add good jobs to the local economy.
Respected Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had appealed to corporations to create jobs using their extensive cash reserves, and they declined. So now is the time for government to be involved in direct economic stimulus, as it successfully did in the post-war years. We need stronger representation in Ottawa, because the Conservative plan has failed us.
This election presents a prime opportunity for change in Penticton. The Liberal plan will create jobs and deal with Canada’s pressing infrastructure requirements, while running modest deficits at a time when interest rates are at historic lows. We need jobs now, not “in five years” as the NDP proposes.
The Liberal plan has been endorsed in national news editorials and by respected economists such as Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, and Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. It includes skills training funding for colleges, and a consultative approach with the B.C. government to ensure regionally appropriate levels of apprenticeship funding.
The NDP candidate claims that he and the Conservative are the only contenders. However the projected outcome of the election has turned sharply away from an NDP victory, with Liberals now leading in popular support across Canada.
A Sept. 13 Dogwood poll, showing NDP with a strong lead in South Okanagan – West Kootenay, reflects stale data. The “308” poll aggregate site states that its riding projections “are not polls and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of current voting intentions in each riding.”
We have a strong Liberal candidate in Connie Denesiuk, who has been campaigning and meeting people in the riding for the past 17 months. She has 25 years experience in humanitarian and community service and in business; has held elected office; and currently serves on the Okanagan College Board.
Denesiuk knows how to bring people together around shared goals to achieve much-needed economic and social improvement in this riding. We have an opportunity for positive change.