Summerland mayor to represent NDP in next provincial election

Toni Boot was acclaimed as the party’s candidate on Sept. 16

Summerland mayor Toni Boot will be the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for the riding of Penticton in the next British Columbia election.

On Sept. 16, Boot was acclaimed as the party’s candidate for the riding.

Boot is currently the mayor of Summerland, and is a former small business owner.

“The people living in the Penticton area deserve a strong leader who can work closely with government to help them and their families face the challenges in their lives — challenges that have only been increased by the pandemic,” she said Wednesday. “Our region needs a recovery that focuses on affordability and builds back a better economy — one that helps us protect our environment.”

Boot, who grew up in Summerland, says she has had an interest in horticulture her whole life. In the past she operated an agri-tourism business, taught on the subject at Okanagan College and created Grasslands Nursery out of a desire to conserve water for the Okanagan landscape.

She is currently serving on her second term as a director at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and serves on numerous regional boards and advisory committees.

She has also received attention in the past for being an advocate of anti-racism and climate action.

In July, Boot — Summerland’s first Black mayor — received provincial and national attention when she destroyed bandanas with a Confederate battle flag symbol. The symbol has been associated with anti-Black racism.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland mayor destroys bandanas with Confederate symbol

READ ALSO: Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Boot said the incident was a way of raising awareness of an ongoing problem.

“It was a societal issue, affecting our community as a whole,” she said.

Her decision to represent to the NDP is the second time Boot has sought a provincial role with the party. In 2016, she was selected as the party’s candidate for the 2017 election.

“Toni Boot is an experienced leader who has shown she will stand up for others and face challenges head on,” said B.C. premier John Horgan on Wednesday. “I’m excited she is joining our team and will work hard to keep B.C. moving forward, together.”

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