Select Page

In Person: Janice Perrino & the power of politics

In Person: Janice Perrino & the power of politics


Janice Perrino’s advice to any woman thinking about running for elected office is “Just do it.”

Two terms as Summerland’s mayor, preceded by six years as a councillor, has given Janice first hand insights into women in politics.

“I didn’t have a lot of confidence that I could win either as councillor or mayor, but I wanted to so badly,” she says. Fuelled by her hallmark determination and hard work she succeeded each time.

Once in office a politician is faced with a steady stream of issues requiring decisions. “I try to get all the facts, listen to all sides and think about what is good for future generations,” Janice says. “Sometimes I have to just follow my gut.”

And her decisions aren’t necessarily set in stone. “I’ve had my mind changed so many times on so many issues,” she says.

As seen in[downloads ids="125250" full_content="no" thumbnails="yes" columns="1"]

No stranger to controversy Janice says from experience that it only makes you stronger. “Women are always supposed to be nice,"she says. "Social graces are indeed important, but you must face controversial situations head-on.”

Janice has found that "none of us get any training in dealing with controversy. However, you have no choice but to stand up for what you believe in.”

She quotes the American author Elbert Hubbard. “To avoid controversy do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

“The hardest part is how you will be perceived by the public when you hit the front page of a newspaper or are the subject of a bad editorial,” Janice says. “Simply put—it hurts to get trashed.”

Regardless of her own feelings, Janice thinks it’s important to be considerate of others.“Be careful how you treat people. You never know what they’ve been through or how they got there.”

Family support helps Janice stay strong. “When I get home after a hard day, the dog runs to greet me and my husband turns on the tea kettle,” she says. Janice’s family also includes two grown children and three grandchildren, all aged four.

Asked when she first became interested in politics, Janice replies, “Shortly after birth.”

Born and raised in Calgary, Janice recalls heated family discussions about Pierre Trudeau and Robert Stanfield. “My uncle knew Trudeau when he visited the Bugaboos. I think that and Trudeau’s charisma is what got me interested in politics,” Janice says.

Renowned Canadian politician, author and broadcaster, Judy LaMarsh, was her great aunt.

“I love the challenge of politics and the process of working through issues. The truth is I absolutely loved being mayor,” Janice says

While in the mayor’s chair, Janice also served as the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

This summer she made the difficult decision not to seek re-election, but her role in public life is far from over.

“I will be devoting my energies full time to raising the $20 million needed to cover the cost of all the medical equipment associated with the expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital.”

Looking to the day the money has been raised, Janice says, “I hope my political life isn’t done. Who knows what the future holds.”

By Susan McIver

Photo: Janice Perrino (left) on election night in Summerland 2008


Related Post

About The Author

30,000 giveaway for small business okanagan

Current Issue

yearly-subscribeDigital Edition - Yearly Subscription

Each month, we're giving away 30 free annual subscriptions to celebrate our 30th year in publishing! With a digital subscription, you can enjoy Okanagan Life on your tablet.

Upcoming Events

3:00 pm Happy Hour at Quails Gate Winery... @ Old Vines Restaurant at Quails' Gate
Happy Hour at Quails Gate Winery... @ Old Vines Restaurant at Quails' Gate
Jan 22 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Happy Hour at Quails Gate Winery with live music by Lindsay May @ Old Vines Restaurant at Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
Happy Hour at Quail’s Gate Winery! Listen to Lindsay May perform her award winning originals and a fun mix of covers while sipping Foch and enjoying the beautiful view in this upscale restaurant in[...]
6:00 pm Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Jan 24 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
Join us on Wednesday’s for our long table dinners, each time exploring a different theme or region in the world. Enjoy 3 family-style courses for $55 per person (plus tax & gratuity). January 10: France[...]
6:00 pm Wine Education Seminar: Through ... @ Quails' Gate
Wine Education Seminar: Through ... @ Quails' Gate
Jan 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Wine Education Seminar: Through the Ages - Vertical Tasting @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
At Quails’ Gate – we love wine! We love drinking it – making it and learning about it so we’re launching a new set of fun and interactive wine education sessions to share some of[...]
11:30 am Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran ... @ Coast Capri Hotel
Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran ... @ Coast Capri Hotel
Jan 26 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Luncheon featuring Mayor Basran - State of the City @ Coast Capri Hotel | Kelowna | BC | Canada
Mayor Colin Basran is the Chamber of Commerce’s guest speaker on January 26th providing his annual State-of-the-City address to a sold out crowd, about the past year’s successes, challenges and look ahead to where Council[...]


Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match