North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold is understanding but disappointed to not be part of the Conservative shadow cabinet but is pleased with new leader Erin O’Toole.

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold is understanding but disappointed to not be part of the Conservative shadow cabinet but is pleased with new leader Erin O’Toole.

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP sorry to leave shadow cabinet, pleased with new leader

Mel Arnold said his input on his former Fisheries post is welcome, new leader has message of hope

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold is in Ottawa, excited about his new leader, disappointed to no longer be a shadow cabinet minister but pleased his input is wanted.

Arnold has been shadow cabinet minister for the Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard portfolio since November 2019. From 2015 to 2019 he was deputy shadow minister.

New Conservative Party leader, Erin O’Toole, downsized the shadow cabinet, Arnold said, while noting a number of reasons can come into play including regional representation and other factors.

He said O’Toole told the MPs that it’s part of his learning curve when you have a large talent pool and you have to choose who you put in place.

The new Fisheries shadow cabinet minister is from New Brunswick, Richard Bragdon.

“I have an excellent working relationship with the new shadow minister and we’re going to continue to work together,” Arnold said.

“He knows the depth of my knowledge and expertise on aquatic invasive species…”

Read more: North Okanagan-Shuswap MP wins unanimous motion support

Read more: Re-elected North Okanagan-Shuswap MP plans to be more effective in second term

Arnold said he has already met with the party’s new leader and had a great conversation. He said both O’Toole and Bragdon want him to keep providing input from the West Coast “so we’re all represented equally.”

Arnold said he’s very excited about the new leader.

“He’s putting across a message of hope and opportunity for Canadians and putting Canada first.”

Asked what he means by Canada first, Arnold said Canada has suffered on the world stage under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, having lost respect and trade abilities in trade agreements. He said Canada’s biggest trading partner is the United States, and “the relationship between the leaders certainly hasn’t been good for Canada.”

After the throne speech on Sept. 23, Arnold said he’s not sure what will happen as it is the government’s call.

“We are trying to show we can meet safely, respectfully, under the health restrictions in place,” he said of Conservative members. “Parliament should be sitting so we can bring back some certainty to Canadians.”

He said the uncertainty is hard for everyone – for small business, for employees and, now, with school returning, for parents.

“Again, there’s no certainty or direction from the government.”

One upside to not being a shadow cabinet minister anymore is that he will have more time to spend working for his constituents, which is really his priority, Arnold said.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmFederal Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 virus returns to Salmon Arm Secondary campus

Member of Sullivan campus tests positive for COVID-19

A member of the M.V. Beattie Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued Jan. 17, 2021. (photo submitted)
COVID-19 exposure at Enderby elementary

Member of school community tests positive for virus

Bastion Elementary was open Monday, Jan. 17, after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed among the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
COVID-19 case confirmed at second Salmon Arm elementary school

Member of Bastion Elementary community self-isolating, students allowed to attend school

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Most Read