Arnold joins Liberal race for Shuswap riding

"I’ve been a resident of the area all of my life, so I know the issues and I know I can make a difference.”

  • Wed Nov 21st, 2012 4:00pm
  • News

Retiring Shuswap MLA George Abbott pretends to kiss a cardboard cutout of himself at a retirement party held in Salmon Arm. The joke was that Abbott is kissing “Old George the politician” into the past as he ventures off into retirement. A number of dignitaries including Premier Christy Clark were on hand to pay tribute to the long-serving politician. Abbott remains the elected representative for the Shuswap riding until the provincial election in May.

Mel Arnold,  a 53 year old lifetime resident of the Shuswap area, has become the fifth candidate to officially join the race to represent the Shuswap riding for the BC Liberals.

“I’ve been a resident of the area all of my life, so I know the issues and I know I can make a difference,” he says Arnold, a previous president of the BC Wildlife Federation and committee chair for the Canadian Wildlife Federation, has  worked continuously since graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary in 1976, either as an employee or as a self-employed businessman.  Arnold has operated a successful marine and RV business in Salmon Arm for the past 23 years.

“I take pride in the lifestyles in the Shuswap area and want to work with others as partners to build on local and provincial values.  I want to contribute to the overall goals of the BC Liberal Party and help bring certainty to business in the area.  I also know the environmental challenges facing us in the future and feel I can help find a balance in planning for future growth.”

Arnold is an outdoor enthusiast, raised in an angling and hunting family and learned from an early age the values of B.C.’s resources. Arnold was an appointed representative to the City of Salmon Arm Environmental Management Advisory Committee for eight years and in 2010 was appointed to the Provincial Species at Risk Task Force to review relative provincial, national and global legislation.

“We need opportunities for youth in this area and sustainable growth,” he told the News, suggesting partnerships with business, First Nations and community groups will help accomplish this.

The other candidates include former Salmon Arm mayor Marty Bootsma, Sicamous Coun. and businessman Greg Kyllo, former Spallumcheen mayor Will Hansma and Jordan Ross, a Salmon Arm businessman and a former vice president of the Shuswap BC Liberal Riding Association.

This makes the race one of the most hotly contested in the province.

“We are very pleased with the five candidates we have running for our nomination in Shuswap,” said Premier Christy Clark. “We need a Shuswap MLA that will continue to fight for job growth and a strong economy. I’m confident each of these candidates would be a great addition to our 2013 team.”

The candidate selection meeting will take place on Jan. 5.