By on May 2, 2013

My name is Sam Hancheroff. I was born in Grand Forks and have lived my entire life in the constituency, spending 33 years as a teacher in Okanagan Falls.
Public service has always been important to me, whether as a volunteer firefighter or in my 30 years of involvement in local politics as a school trustee and trustee for the irrigation district.
This local involvement has given me a thorough understanding of the issues facing this region, as well as experience working with people from a diversity of backgrounds to build consensus on important issues, both of which I believe would allow me to serve the region well as an MLA.
In this election, the residents of Boundary-Similkameen have an important decision to make.
I believe that it’s time for a new government with better priorities. I think it’s time for a government that will work for change for the better – one practical step at a time.
Working together, we can create jobs, build a prosperous and sustainable economy and give our young people the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities of the future.
We can support local agriculture and strengthen local economies. By ensuring we focus on the right priorities, we can also provide better care for our senior citizens, enabling them to stay in their homes and communities longer and ensuring they receive the care they deserve when they do require residential support.
As I travel around this constituency, these are issues I hear about on the doorstep each day. They are also issues that resonate with my own life in the region.
My wife Barb and I have five grandchildren, so I know personally the importance of ensuring proper access to education and skills training.
With 80 per cent of the new jobs created in B.C. requiring some form of post-secondary education, I’m thrilled by our party’s commitment to supporting students through $100 million in post-secondary student grants, as well as additional money for skills training.
This money will help improve apprenticeship completion rates and ensure that people across the province, including my own grandchildren, have the skills needed for future jobs.

When it comes to supporting agriculture, local farmers and orchardists will benefit from the three programs proposed by the B.C. NDP – Grow B.C., Buy B.C. and Feed B.C.
Having managed a vineyard for the last 20 years, I have a personal knowledge of many of the issues facing those involved in agriculture and viticulture in this region.
These programs will ensure that not only will we sustain the Okanagan Valley’s position as one of the premiere agricultural regions in B.C., we will also market this produce across the country and around the world and ensure that patients in local hospitals and residents in local care homes are benefiting from the healthy food produced right here, all while supporting the local economy.
Finally, the B.C. NDP is committed to providing better care for our seniors. By investing $70 million over the next three years we can improve access to home care, keeping seniors in their homes and communities longer.
For those seniors who need residential care, our commitment to investing $35 million over the next three years will improve the quality of care they receive.
Finally, through the creation of an independent seniors’ representative, we will provide our most vulnerable seniors with an advocate to ensure that they are cared for with respect.
This is the choice we’re faced with. If you believe, like I do, that it’s time for a positive change, then I ask for your support on May 14.

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