James Kay – Council candidate
First, Kelowna needs to reaffirm its commitment to Imagine Kelowna and our Official Community Plan. Residents are intimately involved in the creation of, and consultations surrounding these documents, and they are council’s mandate. From there we support and pursue growth and development that conforms with the public’s wishes and expectations in these plans, and we defend against those that do not. We must encourage, facilitate and approve, in a timely manner, the growth and development that meets our needs.
Kelowna must work with, and lobby, other levels of government to help address homelessness, addictions, and crime. This involves shelters and supportive housing, treatment, and justice, including getting repeat offenders off the street. We need to support our RCMP and bylaw officers with the resources they need, and mandate to keep our streets safe, discourage crime, and enforce our laws consistently and aggressively.
We should consider cracking down on the resale/repurposing of stolen goods. We should increase our use of surveillance and video evidence. We must encourage and coordinate neighbourhood watch and other similar preventative measures.
Kelowna must do more: arranging for enough appropriate sites for shelters and camps, proactively procuring sites for BC Housing and CMHC and others to be able to approve ‘shovel-ready’ housing projects, and lobbying for much-needed support. However, there is an enormous number of those on the verge: more rental housing, more attainable sites, more modular/mobile/tiny home parks, more land-lease options, and more labour housing. Engaging the private sector to significantly increase supply is possible and attainable. Council must be careful in the list of capital projects proposed: reductions in project requests will lower the cost of delivering housing.
My favourite Okanagan celebrity is Lenetta Parry. The largest heart I have ever seen, an infectious smile, a contagious laugh, a young woman who puts others first, all the time, and is an irresistible force for good.