Liberals name South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidate – Penticton News

The South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding has a Liberal candidate added to those vying to unseat MP Richard Cannings in the upcoming federal election.

Ken Robertson is running for the job, a newcomer to the local political scene. In the last two federal elections, Connie Denesiuk was the Liberal nominee, failing to secure the seat both times.

Robertson is a Secwepemc from the Neskonlith Indian Band in south-central British Columbia, and was raised in East Vancouver. He then moved to Toronto and held positions at the Tumivut Youth Shelter, and later the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.

Robertson soon began advocating for parents of autistic children after two of his own kids were diagnosed. He received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General for his advocacy work.

The Liberal party’s official information release regarding Robertson reads that he is “passionate about investing in a fairer, greener economy that empowers future generations and making life better for families right here in our community.”

Robertson joins Richard Cannings, NDP incumbent, Conservative Helena Konanz, and People’s Party of Canada’s Sean Taylor in attempting to earn South Okanagan-West Kootenay votes.

Canada goes to the polls Sept. 20.


Traffic was stopped in both directions on Government Street at Okanagan Avenue Monday morning following a crash.

Emergency crews responded.

Two vehicles were involved in the crash, one blue and one white mid-sized vehicle.

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The former treasurer of the Oliver Elementary School parental advisory committee, who pleaded guilty to stealing funds intended for the school, has had her sentencing date pushed to September.

Belinda Yorke pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000 in February, 2020. She was charged in 2019 after an 18-month RCMP investigation into missing funds that the Oliver Elementary School’s PAC uses to enhance students’ experience at the school.

Yorke was the PAC treasurer from June 2016 until January 2018, during which time she used her position to misappropriate funds.

According to the court docket, Yorke was set to be sentenced on Monday in Penticton Supreme Court, but the proceedings were pushed until Sept. 13.

Health issues had previously delayed proceedings, with her lawyer saying Yorke was in “serious ill health” in November 2020.


Two major wildfires that have been burning since mid-July in the South Okanagan are seeing minimal growth and excellent firefighting conditions.

Thomas Creek

The Thomas Creek wildfire was discovered July 11 northeast of Okanagan Falls. As of Monday morning, it is listed at 10,597 hectares.

“With cold temperatures, high humidity and some precipitation over the fire ground, the fire is currently stalled with little to minimal growth,” reads a BC Wildfire Service update.

“Containment lines on the northern edge are cleared and this area is under modified response allowing the fire to back down the northern slope towards the guard in steep terrain.”

Mop up continues in other areas of the fire.

Part of the fire in the northwest corner is under modified response, meaning simply monitored rather than actively fought due to difficult, steep terrain.

Evacuation orders still remain in the Derenzy Lake and Allendale Lake areas.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

Nk’Mip Creek

The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire was discovered July 19 north of Osoyoos, and has been on a mostly eastward trend in recent weeks.

Temperatures and rain are helping the firefighters, and the blaze is currently stalled. Crews are now focused on containment options in the northeast and mopping up other edges.

A contingent of more than 90 Mexican firefighters have been assisting BCWS, and are taking a few days of rest before returning later in the week. Some Canadian Armed Forces members have been moved from the Thomas Creek wildfire to Nk’Mip to ensure personnel numbers remain adequate.

Larger planned ignitions will come on the western side of Mt. Baldy, where 123 properties remain on evacuation order and 34 on alert, when weather allows.

Structure protection remains set up in the Mt. Baldy ski area.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation, although BCWS fire information officer Mike McCulley told media on Aug. 12 that it is believed to have been human-caused.

Michelle Gowing – Aug 23, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 343635

“Okanagan Inspired” is a weekly series of articles offering a peek into the stories and inspirations of Pentictonites who hold creative roles in the community.

Local husband and wife team Jeff and Cindy Campbell don’t have it baa-d in the South Okanagan where they have made their home and own their creative and unique goat farm.

Originally from New Westminster, Cindy moved to and lived in Alberta most of her life, where she met Jeff.

“We had purchased property just outside of Penticton to retire on, but we just sped up the process,” says Cindy.

They now live in their home on Green Mountain Road, just 1 kilometre past the turnoff for Apex.

“We love being close to the water. The lakes, the mountains. And we really love our little property. It is in a really unique little valley and we are surrounded by three mountains so our weather is really different,” explains Cindy.

They have now been in Penticton for 13 years, having made the move with their three dogs and one cat, but now, their property sees a lot more animal action.

“It’s kind of a cute story. I was watching online videos of goats, and they were just so cute. We had zero goat experience but we knew we wanted to do something with animal rescue. It didn’t even dawn on us to begin working with goats. After watching the goat videos, I took the whole family to a farm outside of Salmon Arm on a Saturday afternoon to visit some goats, just as something to do,” Cathy said.

“We ended up putting a deposit down on a couple of goats! We had a month to put up a barn and fencing for them, and as soon as we had the goats we fell in love … In these 6-7 years, we have learned so much about goats. They have incredible personalities. They are so loving and bond with people really closely.”

The Campbells now operate GottaGoat Farm, a farm that raises and sells Miniature Silky Fainting Goats, Nigerian Dwarf Goats and other miniature goats. They offer experiences like goat yoga, corporate retreats, anniversary celebrations and opportunities to pet and cuddle goats.

“They’re like little puppy dogs, and smart like dogs too. As we learn more we want to share that with people. Most people have no idea how amazing they are. They’re very social and friendly and love attention,” explains Jeff.

“It is structured to be an educational and learning experience. We want to teach people about the goats, and how sweet and social they are. It is great for family get-togethers or anniversaries,” adds Cindy.

If you are looking for a moment of relaxation and peace, then goat yoga may not be for you, but it is a fun and creative adventure nevertheless.

“You do an hour of yoga with all the little goats running around, jumping and cuddling and then the second hour you get to hang out with the goats and pet them and take pictures!” says Cindy.

In addition to their farm visits, the Campbells also breed goats and sell to other farms or to people that want their own goats to milk.

“We have started to milk our own goats and make cheeses. We can’t sell milk or cheese because we produce on too small of a scale, but we eat the milk and cheese and it’s amazing. As we get more involved with our online presence, we want to offer courses for milking and making cheeses and just fun activities you can do with your goat,” says Cindy.

Along with over 50 goats, the Campbell’s also have quite a collection of rescued furry friends. They encourage people to learn more about rescuing animals and learn more about the goats.

“Hanging out with the goats is therapeutic. They are so calm and relaxing and you can feel the calm energy. We have had a lot of visits from special needs children and it is a great place for them to be,” explains Cindy.

For people wanting to get a goat of their own, Cindy recommends spending some time talking and educating yourself.

“Look into their nutritional, housing, and fencing requirements. Get to meet the goats and the breeds and their different personalities to understand the best way to care for them. We have a lot of different breeds for people to see and understand. Some are more energetic but if you want a laid back goat, the fainting goats are the way to go. They are super chill animals.”

The Campbells love to play music while tending to the animals.

“We always have music playing in the barn for the goats, 24/7. We would probably pick Stolen Dance by Milky Chance as our favourite song. It’s a good song to milk the goats to. The goats like all kinds of music but seem to really enjoy hard rock and heavy metal. I think the goats would pick Mötley Cru?e- Same OI’ Situation (S.O.S)” says Jeff.

To visit GottaGoat Farms, for some much needed goat time, call the Campbell’s at 250-493-4065 or book a time on Facebook at GottaGoat or online at

Allison Markin – Aug 23, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 343621

“Four seasons of fun” is a collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton showcasing what Penticton has to offer all year round. Watch for it every Monday morning.

Our local shops and retailers have many ways for you to share your love for all things local, and have some treasures that may disappear as fall arrives, so don’t hesitate so go get these treasures now before they’re off the shelves.

While the vineyards will soon come alive with activity as the grape harvest for the 2021 vintage is almost ripe for picking, it’s not too late to grab a few bottles – or cans – of popular B.C. wine styles before they’re sold out for this year.

Donna Faigaux, manager of the B.C. Wine Information Centre in Penticton located adjacent to the Cascades Casino, has a few suggestions to round out your summer sipping.

“Rosé wines are just flying off the shelves, and they’re going to be gone,” she says.

“Many wine drinkers are celebrating August as rosé month,” she adds. With different styles from dry to sweet, staff suggestions and advice will point you to the right bottle for your tastes.

And, why not wine in a can? It’s perfect for a late summer hike or picnic. More and more wineries are adding canned wine to their portfolios, and they sell quickly.

“Sparkling wine in a can means you can just throw it in a cool creek and enjoy!” adds Donna. The shop also has just about everything you might need for an outdoor from baskets and utensils to local cheeses.

Speaking of dairy, while Tickleberry’s is well-known for its ice cream, their recently opened shop in downtown Penticton also carries other delicious treats.

You’ll find locally-made gourmet food items as well as their own house-made jams (made by the same food artisan who creates their famous fudge.)

“We have this great chocolate tea,” says General Manager ShaeLynn MacLean, “and lots of local merchandise. We love our local merchants and we’re blessed to have incredible local support.”

She suggests checkout out Three Cats and a Broom healing scents and other products, purses and gifts made in Canada, and you can show you local love by wearing Okanagan Lifestyle hats and t-shirts.

“It’s always fun to see ‘Drip Happens’ t-shirts on kids who are out and about,” she says.

Pick up some more locally-inspired clothing online or at the Penticton Visitor’s Centre. Apparel ranges from hoodies to hats to t-shirts, some featuring the elusive Ogopogo.

The Penticton Beer Shirt gives a shoutout to local breweries and some of their products, and the graphic on the tee is shaped like a beer growler, so it’s clear that it’s a nod to the craft beer scene.

If you’ve got a favourite brewery, winery, or bistro, the next time you’re stopping in for a sip or picking up a takeout order, ask if there’s a something wearable you can add to your order to show your support. Or how about an apron from a local restaurant? Wear it while you’re creating a culinary adventure at home.

Learn more at and on social @visitpenticton

Water restrictions have been put in place across the Okanagan, and communities across the province sit at a level four drought.

The District of Summerland put out an urgent plea to residents to reduce their water usage when the local water treatment plant neared capacity in June, and staff are wanting to change how the District reacts.

According to a district staff report in the council agenda, staff met to conduct an “After Action” review, after the recent heatwave prompted decisions made around high water demands in the overnight hours of June 27.

Water was shut off to 15 high volume users for a period of six-eight hours, rather than switching the system over to a raw water bypass which would have resulted in a boil water advisory for the whole community for a period of approximately one week.

Council will be discussing whether staff should be developing a policy to guide future decisions for water restrictions during emergent situations to complement the existing Drought Management Plan (DMP) on Monday.

“There are challenges associated with existing water distribution and related infrastructure in the District. Much of the agricultural water supply currently comes through the water treatment facility and the same delivery system as residential areas,” the report reads.

During times of high-volume usage for agriculture, such as in the height of the growing season, the water treatment system is pressed to its operational limits.

It was pointed out that the DMP does not currently provide direction on how to execute the recommendations laid out within it.

“For example, the DMP states when a 10 per cent usage reduction is required, but not how to achieve that.”

Staff recommends that a Water Emergency Response Policy be added to the existing DMP to clarify its content regarding system capacity emergency response and to consider planning for heat-induced weather events.

Council will be discussing whether a policy to improve response and community engagement during times of water storage shortages and Water Treatment Plant emergencies is needed on Monday.

Casey Richardson

The Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland is looking for a home for two cats who are ready to shine.

Danish and Dutch are a part of a large group of cats rescued from a hoarding situation.

“Part of what we love about being a sanctuary is being able to provide a safe place for cats to just kind of get their feet underneath them and come out of their shells,” Jess Byer, Critteraid Animal Director said.

“When we deal with cats coming from very bad hoarding situations…it can take months for them to get to the point that these girls are.”

The two sisters are both about a year and a half to two years old.

“They are two of the most incredible young cats and if you put in the effort, these are love bugs waiting to shine.”

The cats will need a home where they can be the only pets.

“They do well with older kids and preferably no dogs. They just need someone who wants to basically have a best friend for the rest of their life with a little bit of extra work.”

If you have a home where you would love to bring in Dutch and Danish, send Critteraid an email to find out more at [email protected]

The Summerland Fall Fair is hoping to return next month. The historic event that celebrates the community’s agricultural roots will take place on September 25.

Festivity plans look to include local food, zucchini bobsled races and plenty of live music. Attendees are invited to learn about Summerland’s authentic homegrown agricultural roots and meet with local farmers.

The fair was canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Fall fair committee members will be presenting as a delegation to Summerland Council on Monday.

Their event this year also invites people to submit photos to ‘show off your pandemic achievements, of creations done throughout the past year that will be published online.

The race is on.

Avion RS1 cars and Avion Sprint Cars will be taking to the Penticton Speedway this evening.

A post on the speedway Facebook page states racing is a go and spectators are welcome.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m.

“With uncertain COVID restrictions coming in to play, this could be your last chance to watch racing at the Penticton Speedway this season,” said a statement on the Facebook post.

Tickets are available from the Penticton Speedway website.

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