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Green grabs apples as Okanagan symbol

KELOWNA – The B.C. Green Party candidate in the riding of Penticton has come up with a novel method to draw attention to his campaign.

As a way to entice folks to come over and talk politics, Julius Bloomfield and his campaign volunteers have been handing out green apples – from the Okanagan of course – at places like malls and community fairs.

And for Earth Day this Wednesday, Bloomfield and his team are gearing up to hand out 1,000 apples over five hours in Penticton and the surrounding communities of Naramata, Summerland and Peachland.

“It’s fairly symbolic for the Green Party,” said Bloomfield of the apples. “A) it’s healthy, b) it’s supporting local agriculture. We’re playing on words on our advertising, you know we talk about core values as well. So we’ve been having a lot of fun with it.”

The local apples also help highlight the Green Party’s position that government should support a Buy BC program by doing things like mandate that the legislature cafeteria buy as much of its food from local producers as possible.

“It’s seems rather pointless or ridiculous for government institutions to be buying produce that is not grown in B.C., if that B.C. produce is immediately available,” said Bloomfield. “What we’re saying to the government is, ok, don’t just talk, let’s see the walk.”

Despite being up against Liberal incumbent and speaker of the house, Bill Barisoff, Bloomfield is bullish about his chances on May 12.

Bloomfield is not one of those Green Party candidates running their campaign on a shoestring. He sold his share in a real estate business last year, so is able to hit the hustings full time without having to juggle another job. He is also in a position to bankroll a large chunk of his campaign himself and has lined up a dedicated group of volunteers.

And while Bloomfield has chosen not to spend precious campaign dollars on polling, the response he is getting on the campaign trail is giving him confidence.

“I’ve got disenfranchised Liberal voters, disenfranchised NDP voters, and people who’ve almost given up on voting have been coming up and telling me that they’re going to vote for me this time,” he said.

“And from Young men to little old ladies. It’s been great.”

Adrian Nieoczym is a reporter for the Kelowna Capital News.

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