The responding to questions was left for later in this special type of forum sponsored by a number of groups and media.
The place – Osoyoos Senior’s Centre 1pm Tuesday. In attendance about 35 seniors and ten party people and media.
This forum will be repeated at the Oliver Elks Hall – Wednesday at 1pm.
Candidates: Mischa Popoff, Doug Pederson, Linda Larson and Sam Hancheroff. John Kwasnica did not attend.
What were the issues raised by seniors? Fortis rate hikes, how senior drivers are treated unfairly and charged fees when they are over 80, inadequate transportation for people with medical issues, cost of medications, speed on the highway, lack of policing, tax impacts on seniors with fixed incomes.
Here are some of the responses from the four candidates to these issues.
Mischa Popoff: Fortis two tier billing won’t work – it’s like a tax grab. On seniors driving habits – where is the record of a lack of ability? On the economy and funding major roadwork in the Okanagan – we are broke there is not enough revenue to pay the bills. On expenses of government – too much unfunded liability in pension funds with people now expecting to receive for more year than they worked.
Doug Pederson: Fortis should be bought by the government. On senior driver testing – the technology exists that all this could be done locally and not in Kelowna. On the government and the economy – too much corruption and nepotism.
Linda Larson: On Fortis bills – in areas where there is no gas lines available the average electrical cost could be averaged and that point would be the trigger before moving to the higher cost of the 2nd tier. Likes idea of testing senior on driving habits but thinks the fees should be refunded to those who fail the test. As to a rumour of a 4 lane highway Osoyoos to Sicamous – she has not heard about it. How to create wealth in BC – we need investors with dreams who create jobs. The province must lower taxes, get rid of business restrictions. Government should not create jobs they must foster the climate for growth.
Sam Hancheroff: Fortis rates are negatively affecting young families as well as seniors. He says he will be an advocate for those feeling the pain. As to the seniors drive test he would work to get rid of it. As to speeding up the highways, he says slow down – enjoy the views. As to the economy, he says the province must market products better – logs, fruit, minerals – and create jobs with processing of these raw materials here in BC. He said the whole HST debacle has hurt business going into it and coming out of it. He is concerned about the widening gap between the rich and the poor.