Jeet Dukhia congrats
Newly elected president of the BCFGA, Jeet Dukhia receives congratulations from one of the association’s members.
Jeet Dukhia, vice-president from last year and the man forced to step up and take over after Kirpal Boparai’s, is now the elected president of the BCFGA.
Speaking after the election, Dukhia says his priority will be convincing the provincial government that some money from the Columbia River Treaty should go to the farm sector, including local fruit farmers. He argues the treaty, which resulted in several dams on the Columbia, allowed Washington to irrigate thousands of acres of farmland. That farmland has allowed Washington State to become the juggernaut of orchard fruits on this continent and has helped to undermine BCFGA farmers.
Dukhia adds the provincial election gives farmers a bit more leverage this year and he sees some improvements coming no matter who wins. He is pleased with Norm Letnick as the new Minister of Agriculture and is confident Letnick will, if the Liberals are reelected, remember his commitment to stay in the Ministry and work on persuading the caucus to support ongoing funding for replants.
Dukhia also says he has spoken to the NDP. They are very sympathetic to the plight of agriculture and he believes they will work to improve the situation; although he didn’t get into specifics.
Most other members of the council were reelected or retained their position by way of acclamation.
Staying in the same positions are:
South District member – Peter Simonsen
North District member – Amarjit Lalli
Okanagan Similkameen Region – Nirmal Dhaliwal
Okanagan Skaha Region – Denise MacDonald
Central Region – Jora Dhaliwal and North Region – Madeleine van Roechoudt.
The other contested position, that of vice-president turned out far differently from the pre-election roster of candidates. Prior to the election, Joe Sardinha had put himself forward for the position and Jeet Dukhia’s name was also listed. After winning the president’s position, Dukhia’s name was automatically taken off and Sardinha declared he was no longer interested in running.
The nomination process was thrown open to the floor. Five or six people declined, but two contenders eventually agreed, including Bhupinder Dhaliwal and Denise MacDonald. Bhupinder won the election leaving MacDonald to retain her seat as the representative for the Okanagan Skaha Region.
According to BCFGA tradition, the number of votes received by candidates is not revealed and all ballots are destroyed after the elections are held.