By WAYNE MOORE
KELOWNA — There is speculation that an Okanagan MLA could become the next B.C. minister of health.
Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick may be the logical choice after Health Minister Terry Lake announced last week he would not be running for re-election next year.
That announcement likely means a cabinet shuffle is in the offing.
Letnick, B.C.'s agriculture minister since 2012, has a deep-rooted interest in health matters, both within the constituency and provincially. He served as chairman of the government's Select Standing Committee on Health. And, in 2012, his private member's bill, the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act was passed into law. The act allows people to apply for a testing order if they suspect they have been exposed to a communicable disease in the course of providing emergency services or as a victim of a crime.
The Liberal MLA has also hosted several symposiums on various health-related topics over the past several years.
In April, he hosted his second annual hike for health and peace, a 20- to 60-minute walk up Knox Mountain. It was part of his focus on helping everyone in the community achieve their best personal health.
When asked if there was an interest in assuming the portfolio, Letnick said in an email, "All cabinet appointments are at the discretion of the premier and I'm excited to serve in her cabinet in any position she determines best.
"It has been my privilege to serve the people of Kelowna and Lake Country as their MLA for the past seven years and I hope to have an opportunity to serve them for four more years after the next election on the government side with Premier Clark."