City of West Kelowna Council participated in the 2022 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference and provincial minister and staff meetings from Sept. 12-16.
West Kelowna’s Council-to-Ministry meetings included:
- Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General – Meeting to advocate for additional rural police officers that remain underfunded by the Provincial government.
- Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation – Advocacy for BC Hydro and the Ministry more rapidly identify a preferred power redundant solution and advance the funding, design, and construction timelines that remain in their 10-year capital program.
- BC Housing – Advancing discussions regarding land, facility, and social housing operator services, including long-term winter shelter options, establishing the city’s first supportive and transitional housing, and continued advocacy for subsidized housing for low-income seniors and families.
- Ministry of Forests – Evaluating the viability of crown land options suitable for social housing to assist in addressing the City’s lack of available and suitable land to help our vulnerable population.
- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure – Advocacy for the Province to more rapidly address the need to reconfigure the Highway 97 traffic lanes through the Westbank Centre area, and the reconfiguration of several Highway 97 interchanges, such as at Boucherie Road and Westlake Road.
- BC Assessment Authority – Discussions regarding an improved partnership framework that would further help taxpayers in all rate classes to understand market variables well in advance of the city setting its annual tax rate.
- Agricultural Land Commission – Discussions to advance projects within the Agriculture Land Reserve, such as the priority to create a safe off-road multi-use pathway along Boucherie Road adjacent to local wineries, and emergency egress routes for wildfire evacuations.
- Ministry of Citizen Services – Discussions regarding post-pandemic policy options for public hearing and regular council/committee meetings, and to thank the ministry for their investment to provide Service BC functions at the future city hall/library building.
Several council members also participated in the ‘Value of One, Power by Many’-themed UBCM study sessions, clinics, and forums such as housing futures, housing solutions, reconciliation in action, local grown solutions to homelessness and addiction, large urban communities forum and others.