Former Kelowna councillor, MLA and MP Al Horning dies at 83

Al Horning passes at 83

The City of Kelowna has lost one of its true pioneers.

Al Horning who served the city as a councillor, Member of Parliament and Member of the BC Legislature, died Monday at the age of 83.

"Kelowna is a better place because of Al Horning's countless contributions. He represents the epitome of community service," Mayor Tom Dyas posted on social media.

Flags across the city will be lowered to half staff on the day of his service.

Horning was last seen in public last month when the city announced a future road linking Rutland and Kelowna International Airport would be named Al Horning Way.

Thanks to his continual efforts as an MP who lobbied for federal approval and funds to extend the runway at YLW, he set the course for the airport to become one of the top 10 busiest airports in Canada," Dyas said at the time.

Horning called the dedication an honour, saying it's been great serving the people of the city here.

Horning served the residents of Kelowna at all three levels of government.

He was a city councillor from 1980 to 1988 and again from 2002 to 2005, a Progressive Conservative MP in Okanagan Centre from 1988 to 93 and an MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country from 2005 to 2009.

In 2021, Horning was inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in the builder category.

He helped build King Stadium, home for many years to Major Men's Fastball, and founded the Kelowna Softball Association. He also served as GM of the semi-professional Kelowna Heat.

He was co-founder of the Kelowna Snowmobile Club and the BC Snowmobile Federation. He was also a provincial champion snowmobile rider.

In a statement, city hall expressed its condolences to family and friends.

"His many years of public service in three levels of government and at the grassroots level produced benefits for generations of Kelowna residents and businesses. He motivated improvements in Kelowna, helping us grow from humble agricultural beginnings to an increasingly sophisticated economy and diverse society," the statement read.

"In terms of his approach to being a city councillor, he told the Daily Courier in 2019: 'I never wanted council to get in the way of people who wanted to do something.'"

“Al Horning was someone who got things done – whether it was fighting to what we needed to get bigger planes into Kelowna, or getting federal contracts for Kelowna companies like Western Star, or getting ball diamonds built, he always brought dogged determination to his work."

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