Hodge Podge: Tracy Gray

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HodgePodge: Tracy Gray

By Charlie Hodge.

In the often black and white world of Federal politics I am a firm believer that the best hope for voters is to go gray. As in Tracy Gray.

Like many Canadians I confess to being a tad (substitute ‘whole bunch’ if you wish) frustrated with our federal and provincial game of politics the past two decades. During the past few elections I was tempted to vote for ‘none of the above’. However, I can sincerely tell readers that come the next federal fight voters in the Kelowna – Lake Country have a legitimate ‘top notch’ Canadian potentially willing to work for them in Ottawa.

Former Kelowna City Councillor and successful business person Tracy Gray is one of two accepted candidates vying for the Kelowna -Lake Country Conservative candidacy in the next election – and that district’s Conservative members will be choosing very soon between Gray and her competitor. In order to vote for ether Gray or her opponent constituents must join the local party by March 9.

If you’re a Conservative (or ambiguous yet know and respect Gray like I do) then I fully encourage you to join the federal party so you can take part in the vote. It may be a tight battle, however Gray is without question the right choice.

I had the complete honour of sitting next to Tracy for the past four years on City Council and know probably better than anyone how hard she worked and prepared for each and every meeting. I regularly witnessed firsthand her analytical assessment process on issues, her willingness to listen, and her ability to cut through rhetoric. While able to work with others Tracy never shies away from clearly and firmly articulating her views on a subject, and routinely displayed her confidence in making tough decisions.

In my 10 years (plus) service as a City Councillor and another 10 as a regional district Director I have met few individuals with the same strong and admirable traits as Tracy.

In the sometimes seedy, and occasionally corrupt world of politics Tracy is a beacon of hope and proof that honesty and integrity exists. Kelowna-Lake Country residents, Conservative Party members, and Canadians at large would be fortunate to have a person of her impeccable character represent them.

In a recent news story Gray’s opponent in the upcoming Conservative riding fight suggested that party leader Andrew Scheer recently flew out to Kelowna for the purpose of imploring her to run in opposition to Gray – and that if she defeated Gray – would likely wind up with a cabinet position.

I did not believe that. The facts were that Scheer was here for at least two days and attended a number of meetings and events.
The article lead me to one of a few assumptions. The other candidate was either not being truthful or was confused with what Scheer said, the reporter misquoted or misunderstood the other candidate, or Scheer was either a fool or a poor judge of people.
Just prior to my deadline on this column (before hitting ‘send’) a follow up article was released with reaction from Scheer’s Director of Communication Brock Harrison, who said no promises or offers were made by Scheer.

“Mr. Scheer encourages many people to run because he believes in competitive nominations, and he’s pleased to have two excellent candidates in the race for Kelowna-Lake Country,” Harrison stated.

That clarification of neutrality by Sheer is timely and imperative considering the importance of the upcoming vote to local party members and area constituents.

If you care about who represents the Conservative riding of Kelowna-Lake Country then make sure and join by March 9 and let your vote be recorded. I recommend Tracy Gray.

***

A hearty round of applause and congratulations to the Kelowna (Rutland) Chiefs hockey team for an incredibly impressive regular season. Tez and I were honoured to be invited to the second to last regular season game last Friday – and were totally impressed with the quality of play by both Kelowna and their opponents Revelstoke.

An exciting, nerve racking end to end affair all night, the Chiefs, led by a sensational goal by Devin Sutton won the game 3-2 early in the overtime. The victory guaranteed the Chiefs first place in their division and top spot overall on the regular season in the KJHL. From the drop of the puck (which I was asked to do) the tempo of the match was full speed. Tez (who knows her hockey as her step son played in the NHL and was a star junior player) and I were both impressed with the overall skating skills displayed.

A loss on Saturday night’s regular season ending game left the Chiefs with an impressive 43-3-1 record. Impressive Chief forward Brody Dale won the league scoring championship notching his 50th goal Saturday and123 points. On Tuesday night the Chiefs opened their seven game playoff series with a 10-1 thumping of Osoyoos Coyotes. I heartily encourage you to attend the action at Rutland Arena.

Another highlight of last Friday’s game included the singing of the national anthem by local businessman Mike Chisholm. Awesome job my friend.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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