Provincial partnership a priority

Over the past month, I’ve received many well-meaning, sincere expressions of goodwill regarding my supposed retirement from provincial politics. However, there’s a small detail – it’s actually my long-time friend and colleague MLA Dan Ashton who announced his retirement after the next British Columbia election, set for this fall.

I want to sincerely thank MLA Ashton for his years of service, first as a Penticton councillor and Mayor, and then as a provincial MLA with the BC Liberal Party, now the BC United Party.

I served under Mayor Ashton as a City Councillor and later shared an office with him in Summerland when I became a federal Conservative MP.

Our joint office, unique in Canada and featured by CPAC at our grand opening, has been a cost-effective way to offer a wider variety of provincial and federal services from one location.

MLA Dan Ashton has been a dedicated representative for his constituents, effectively advancing many important regional projects.

It’s amusing that we’ve often been mistaken for each other due to sharing the same first name, initials, and office. Since first being elected, we frequently receive emails intended for the other. We always ensure that the correct Dan responds to the citizen who inadvertently sent their concern or request to the wrong person.

Likewise, I want to thank West Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart, who like MLA Dan Ashton, is retiring from provincial politics this fall.

A tireless advocate for our region, I’ve appreciated working with him on various issues over the years. MLA Stewart has also promoted cooperation between our MP and MLA offices, leading to our decision to co-locate our constituency offices to the new Civic Hall in West Kelowna. This co-location will provide constituents with more convenience and efficiency, as well as see federal and provincial tax dollars help pay for this important municipal asset.

I’m grateful that voters have supported individuals like MLA Ashton and Stewart, who have consistently advocated for efficient, common-sense approaches to our work, with these office co-locations being one tangible example.

On a personal note, I’m excited to announce that I will be running in our next federal election, currently planned for 2025 unless parliamentary circumstances change and the minority government falls due to a lack of confidence in the House.

Throughout my travels in our region and discussions with constituents, I’ve heard a strong desire for change in Ottawa. I aim to address this desire without being overly partisan, and I want to thank the citizens who have shared their views and concerns with me.

I also want to formally thank MLAs Ben Stewart and Dan Ashton for their years of working together on behalf of our shared constituents.

When elected officials can collaborate effectively across all levels, it’s much easier to progress projects and address regional concerns.

I can attest to this from my time in government, where we were able to partner with provincial and local governments for critical highway upgrades between Hope and Princeton, and locally between Summerland and Peachland. We also managed to upgrade the Penticton Community Center and the wastewater and water plant, and partnered with local government in West Kelowna to create rapid bus transit projects. Now, I’d like to hear from you about the top priorities deserving attention in your area.

I can be reached at or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.