Well, it is time to vote again. For those of you who may not know your Yvonnes from your Toms or what a Randal or Keith is, we are here for you.

No political rhetoric, just some quick questions to attach a human being to all the beautiful signs that line our many roadways. We posed the same 5 questions to all 4 Kootenay East candidates and will publish them as we get them back.

Today we will start it all off with Yvonne Prest The BC Green Party candidate for Kootenay East.

1. You have a free afternoon in Cranbrook, the sun is shining, the blue jays shrieking and nothing on your schedule for the next 5 hours, what do you do?

First upon arriving in Cranbrook, my fiance and I would go and play Mini-golf. Cranbrook has one of the greatest courses, at Elizabeth Lake Lodge, and it is a pastime that we thoroughly enjoy whenever we are in another city.  Although we can be competitive, I think I still hold the lead in our unofficial championship title. (haha He'll never agree but hey, now it is in PRINT! (editor's note: Pixels))  We would then take our canoe to one of the many stunning lakes in the area to relax and enjoy the outdoors.  For lunch, we would head back into downtown Cranbrook and have lunch at Max's Place, a favourite local business eatery of ours.  The last thing we would do is pop into the local bookstores, from Lotus to Pages, I could spend hours looking at books, especially rare Canadian literature.

2. What hidden gem do you want people to know about Cranbrook?

One thing I love about Cranbrook is the College of the Rockies campus and landscape.  I could spend hours sitting inside their beautiful lobby, chatting to students and people as they pass and reading beside their cozy fire. It is also home to a stunning 18-hole disc golf course.  A casual or competitive game with friends whilst walking through the outdoors is a lot of fun! It is also a very accessible sport as the course is free to use and discs can be shared.

3. Walk around Elizabeth Lake, mini golf at Elizabeth Lake Lodge, or have coffee with someone named Elizabeth?

I believe that I've already answered this question. haha.  Although it would be a toss up between the two firsts.  Elizabeth Lake is a gorgeous area as well as an integral part of our ecosystem.  The park is both a protected wetland and a bird sanctuary as well as a home for plentiful animals including the infamous Western Painted Turtles.  I love spending time there and discussing the array of wildlife with the information center's volunteers. Each volunteer is a wealth of knowledge and I do appreciate their time.  As mentioned, the Elizabeth Lake Lodge's mini golf course is a lot of fun and I do not mess with tradition. haha.  There is not a time where I have been in Cranbrook and missed a chance to play.  Mini golf is a traditional pastime for myself and my family. We are so looking forward to our next visit and game!  I still have a framed copy of the first mini golf game, when I was nine years old, where I beat my father, an avid golfer to date.  haha.  He framed it for my birthday.  So sweet. 

4. What sets Cranbrook apart from other towns in your riding, what makes it great, how could it improve?

What makes Cranbrook great is the people, like all towns and cities.  It is the spirit of the people which can be seen in their energy, their local businesses and their parks.  Cranbrook's shine on each level.  I would like to see Cranbrook grow economically and be put on the map as a travel destination.  I would like to see more concert series and development in the arts in Cranbrook so that people from all over the world wish to come and participate in the amazing opportunities that Cranbrook has to offer.  Much like Calgary, it has the room for growth and prosperity. 

5. We know that you love the East Kootenay – otherwise you wouldn't be running for office – what makes this area so special to you?

I moved to the East Kootenay region seven years ago and it is now the place that I call my home.  Three years ago I purchased a home here and I look forward to starting a family here. Above all else, I love the good nature and friendliness of mountain people.  The honesty and integrity one can find as they walk down the street is boundless. People in this region not only look each other in the eye but smile and say hello.  As a teacher in the Elk Valley, I also appreciate the youth in this region.  Their ideas and zest for life is awe inspiring.  When I first moved East, I felt a sense of possibility in the air and I still feel that spark of wonder today.  That is special.  The East Kootenay region is a place of promise and hope, and it always will be. 

Thanks Yvonne for indulging us with a little snapshot into who you are. All the best in the final days before May 9.