Meet your candidate: Toni Boot for Penticton

Meet your NDP candidate

Chelsea Powrie

Castanet Penticton is conducting a brief "Meet your Candidate" interview with each of the four Penticton riding MLA candidates. Watch for one each morning leading up to the Herald all-candidates forum on Tuesday Oct. 13, live streamed on Castanet. 

Toni Boot is hoping to earn votes as the NDP candidate in the Penticton riding for the upcoming provincial election, challenging incumbent MLA Dan Ashton. 

"[I'm] somebody whose hometown is Summerland, and I am very proud to be representing the BC NDP in this riding," Boot says. "I grew up in Summerland, graduated from high school there, swore I would never return to Summerland but things change, I spent nine years in Vancouver going to school and going to work for the federal government in communications. Then after our first boy was born it was like, hmm, maybe not such a bad place to raise children."

Boot and her family moved back to the Okanagan where she founded Grasslands Nursery and got into politics in 2014, running successfully for district council and later becoming mayor of Summerland. 

For her, the biggest issue aside from the pandemic facing constituents of the Penticton riding is affordability. 

"Affordability for housing, for food, for childcare, accessibility to pharmaceuticals or healthcare that is affordable, all of those things are important for the people of Penticton," Boot says.

She acknowledges that there has been opposition to the so-called "snap election," sending British Columbians to the polls early and during a pandemic, but she believes it was the right call by NDP leader and BC Premier John Horgan. 

"I think it's really important for all British Columbians and certainly the people that live in the Penticton electoral area. We are in a position provincially where we have survived and gotten through with this six months of the pandemic, and the pandemic is still going to be with us," Boot says.

"It's really important for whomever is in government to have the mandate to carry on or to adjust the work that's been done in the last three and a half years under the COVID umbrella. It's very important that the people of British Columbia are the ones that get to make that decision. 

If elected, Boot would be a first-time MLA, a challenge she says she is ready for. 

"I love a challenge. I went from having a small business, founding two small businesses, selling two small businesses on to the political stage with a run for council then mayor and in the meantime I went back and finished my communications degree," Boot says. 

"I do best, I think, when I have a challenge ... I feel quite confident that I have the experience and the energy and the enthusiasm to be a voice for this region, at the table, over the next four years with John Horgan's team."

Watch the full interview above, and hear more from Toni and the three others campaigning in Penticton answer the tough questions at the Penticton Herald all-candidates forum Tuesday Oct. 13 at 7p.m., live streamed on Castanet.

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