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Four-term Kelowna MP Werner Schmidt dead at 92

Schmidt represented the Okanagan Centre, Kelowna, and Kelowna-Lake Country ridings from 1993 to 2006
Former Kelowna Member of Parliament, Werner Schmidt, died at age 92 on March 29, 2024. (Our Commons photo)

Former Kelowna MP Werner Schmidt has died.

Schmidt represented the Okanagan Centre, Kelowna, and Kelowna-Lake Country ridings from 1993 to 2006 for the Reform Party, Canadian Alliance, and the Conservative Party.

He was succeeded in 2006 by city councillor Ron Cannan.

“My heart was saddened when I heard the news,” Cannan said. “He was a strong man of faith and loved the Lord.”

Schmidt’s political career began in Alberta in 1971 when he was chosen to replace Harry Strom as leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party following the defeat of Strom’s government.

Schmidt had never held a seat in the Alberta legislature. He won the Alberta Social Credit leadership in 1973 but lost a by-election in Calgary-Foothills the same year.

The party only won four seats in the 1975 provincial election and Schmidt returned to private life after failing to win his own seat.

He then brought his family to B.C. and joined the fledgling Reform Party of Canada. He failed to win a seat in the 1988 federal election but was elected in the Okanagan Centre riding in 1993.

Schmidt was re-elected in 1997, again in 2000 as a Canadian Alliance MP, with 60 per cent of the vote, and won his fourth consecutive seat in 2004 as a Conservative. He retired from politics in 2005.

“He had lots of wisdom, a strong work ethic, and a distinguished education background, Cannan added. “He was a man of integrity, he kept his word.”

Schmidt died in Edmonton on March 29, Good Friday, at age 92.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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