By Martha Wickett &Richard Rolke
A Salmon Arm woman has announced her intention to seek the Liberal nomination in the federal Okanagan-Shuswap riding.
Cindy Derkaz has filled out her nomination papers and mailed them to Ottawa. However, before she is officially declared a candidate in the 2015 election, she must be vetted and “green lit” by the Liberal Party of Canada.
Derkaz, who was raised in Salmon Arm, is probably most well-known recently for her former role as president of the Shuswap Community Foundation.
She has had much involvement with non-profits and she practised law for many years.
Derkaz is running because: “Over the last three or four years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the direction the county is taking under the Harper Conservative government and I feel it’s time to get involved and offer a change.”
No one else has announced their intention to run for the federal Liberal Party in the riding and the candidate nomination meeting has not been scheduled yet.
The federal New Democratic Party selected its candidate for the riding Saturday in Armstrong.
Jacqui Gingras of Falkland was chosen in the two-way race with Richard Smiley of the North Shuswap.
“I am honoured, excited and prepared to carry forward the fight for everyday Canadians living in Okanagan-Shuswap,” Gingras said.
She says her focus over the next six months will be to meet people in the riding and develop a better sense of their priorities and concerns.
“People I have spoken with across our riding have shared with me their concerns about the environment, about jobs and about our future,” she said.
“Based on the federal Conservatives recent debacles, we have a strong case to make for change. We can’t continue in the same way and expect different outcomes.”
Gingras lives with her spouse and two children near Falkland and she is a tenured professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. She holds a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and a masters’ degree in nutrition and metabolism. She also has a doctorate in education and teaches sociology courses and researches the social impacts on health systems.
Gingras says she is looking forward to the upcoming election campaign.
“I’m running to represent the good people of Okanagan-Shuswap because they deserve better representation than what they’ve received in the past,” she said.
In the Conservative camp, four people have declared their wish to representative the party in this riding.
Salmon Arm businessperson Mel Arnold, former Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert, Vernon businessperson Scott Anderson and former Lumby councillor Janet Green are all vying for the Conservative candidacy, with a nomination meeting tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4.
Current Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes has announced he won’t be running for MP again.