Conservative Party members in the new riding of South Okanagan West Kootenay have elected Marshall Neufeld as their candidate for the next federal election.
The ballots were counted Saturday evening, July 26, and Neufeld won with 88 per cent of the votes. With widespread support and endorsements from Jim Gouk and Stockwell Day, the results were not a surprise. Mr. Neufeld stated, “I am incredibly honoured with the response I got from the membership from the entire riding. We had an incredible turnout especially considering it is the middle of summer.”
Marshall Neufeld currently works as a real estate agent in Penticton where he was born and raised. He also has family connections in the West Kootenays with close relatives in Trout Creek and Castlegar.
At age 32, Neufeld is younger than your average politician, but he is not without experience. He was encouraged to enter politics by Stockwell Day and worked as Day’s senior parlimentary assistant in Ottawa. He has worked for the Conservative party on behalf of other candidates in previous elections and was elected to represent B.C. on the national council of the Conservative party. Neufeld has also served as the president of the local Conservative riding association. His leadership history also includes volunteering, fundraising, vice chair of the Penticton Christian School Board, work with the Good Samaritan Society and serving on the Board of the Penticton Church of the Nazarene.
In response to the question of how he will stay in touch with the rural areas of the riding outside of Penticton, Mr. Neufeld replied, “I see this riding as having two main population centres and whoever the MP is going to be has to see it as almost doing double duty. You are going to have to work incredibly hard to make sure that the populations of both halves of the riding are feeling that they have complete access to their member of parliament and that they are being heard. For my part, I am going to make that a priority. If I am successful, I will have both an office in the Okanagan and one in the West Kootenays.”
When asked how electing a Conservative would benefit Castlegar Mr. Neufeld responded, “You will have a member of parliament who will be speaking out in favour of expanding our economy and building our resources throughout the country. Having a better economy helps everyone throughout the country, including Castlegar. I am pro-business and I will be looking forward to working with local businesses, the airport specifically and any other infrastructure related projects to try to improve things for the area. It’s not always about what the local area can get but who the person is going to be, the values they hold, and what they are going to fight for in general within Parliament. It’s important to be electing a member of the party who has a real vision for the country, who is going to make the economy a priority.