Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for West 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.
Jason Friesen – Incumbent councillor
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth, development, and attainable, affordable housing in West Kelowna?
This is a very key question that will need to be front of mind as we continue to develop and finalize the new Official Community Plan. As we look to increase the housing supply to meet the ever-increasing demand we will have to be very strategic in ensuring that we do provide options and opportunities that will allow everyone to call West Kelowna their home.
- Incentives for development and increased density in strategic locations.
- Incentivizing and/or mandating the housing types included in future developments.
- Continued advocacy with the federal and provincial governments to provide supportive and attainable housing development
- Advocating and providing incentives for affordable housing providers to develop affordable, supportive, and seniors housing
- Ensuring that we are strategic in the development and use of city-owned land to ensure that we are meeting the needs and demands in the housing market
- Learning from and exploring strategies that have successfully been designed and implemented in communities throughout Canada.
In your view, what is council’s responsibility to help address street and property crime in West Kelowna?
West Kelowna will need to continue to invest in our police force as well as advocate for additional support from both the federal and provincial governments. We need to hold the province accountable to continue to invest in our detachment at a rate that is proportional to the growth of all the areas within our coverage area. We need to ensure that the investments between the city and the province are equitable.
What steps do you think council could take to improve traffic flows and road infrastructure in West Kelowna?
As we explore future development, we need to ensure that we are developing areas that either have existing or planned, road infrastructure that cannot support the growth. Developments also need to be in areas that are supported by and near services that can be accessed via alternative transportation options such as transit, walking, and/or biking. We need to continue to advocate for and provide pressure on the provincial government to upgrade the infrastructure along Highway 97. On this side of the bridge, this includes the redesign of the couplet through our downtown core. We need to also ensure that progress is made on the design and construction at the Boucherie and Hudson/Westlake intersections.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
Not an individual , but rather a group, the West Kelowna Warriors. The players and the management team provide not only provide a great and high level of entertainment for young and old alike, but they are also very supportive of the community as a whole .