Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for Kelowna council in the 2022 municipal election, asking for their response to three specific issues about the community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.
Daniel Joseph - Council candidate
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?
We’re ten years behind on planning and building the infrastructure to support our growth. Smarter zoning could eliminate our real estate and rental crisis and create a surplus of inventory over the next six years. On residential zoning alone, RM5/RM6 zoning should be strategically considered in place of RU7, to foster the development of low to mid-rise, wood-frame housing complexes, protect the tree canopy, and help create affordable, walkable neighbourhoods.
Making critical decisions on transit infrastructure now is necessary. In the short-term city hall must consider re-planning the intersecting roads along Harvey to free up congestion, as well as increasing our bus capacity in terms of routes and frequency. Long-term, we need to debate either twinning the bridge or an alternative transit solution such as the UBCO hydrail project.
In 2021, Kelowna had the second highest property rate crime in the country, what should city council do to help address street and property crime in the city?
Simply adding more police officers will be ineffective, anyone that’s had to deal with recent property crime will know. We need smarter zoning to create more inventory, help level out the real estate market, tackle skyrocketing rent, and spend the money we have to address homelessness and drug abuse more effectively. Getting people off the streets will have a significant impact on crime.
In your view, what is council’s responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?
Helping people experiencing homelessness is not an isolated issue. Skyrocketing unaffordability is an expectation in Kelowna, and it wasn’t always that way. The first condo my family purchased close to eight years ago, has increased over 400 per cent. Rental rates have closely followed. The median income in B.C. during that same period of time - 129 per cent.
To paint a more human picture of those statistics, a person living on welfare/working part-time qualified to rent our condo when it was first put on the rental market. Today, that same condo can only be rented by someone who is at minimum working full-time at $17.00/hour. Affordable housing isn’t simply a homelessness issue. City council must adopt a smarter zoning and development strategy to ensure we have inventory for everyone. It’s not rocket science, it’s good governance.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
Charlie Hodge. Even though I don’t agree with every decision he’s made, I respect each one. This man fights for his community and never backs down from what he believes in.