Kelowna mayor to bring water and homelessness concerns to UBCM

“I’m going to talk a lot about files we’ve been working hard on.”

Getting a handle on the new NDP government’s stance on everything from homelessness to the drug overdose crisis is top of mind for mayors and councillors streaming into Vancouver for this week’s UBCM convention.

Kelowna council is alive to these hot button issues, having long struggled with the high cost of living and the high rate of drug overdose deaths. But equally pressing said Mayor Colin Basran is finding out where the new government stands on Kelowna-specific projects that had the support of the NDP’s predecessors.

“This UBCM may be more important than others in the past,” said Basran, who will be meeting with Premier John Horgan and other ministers to discuss areas of “mutual interest.”

Basran readily admits this city has long benefitted from having provincial power players, such as former premier and Kelowna West MLA Christy Clark, firmly rooted in the valley. Provincial money has been made available for a number of city projects that are, in some cases, only just getting underway.

Among them, said Basran, is the the water integration plan and strategy. It aims to bring together five area water purveyors and is reliant on provincial grants and has been regularly identified as a top priority.

Basran is also hoping to speak with about the city’s Journey Home strategy, which aims to provide a systems-based approach to dealing with homelessness.

Homelessness is an area the current government seems to have turned some attention toward.

The program for the week-long convention indicates there are multiple sessions on housing, homelessness, the problem of short-term vacation rentals and their impact on local rentals.

The UBCM convention is a forum for provincial politicians to connect with politicians from the province’s 161 cities, towns and villages.

Just Posted

West Kelowna school honours Olympics for Harmony Day

Rose Valley Elementary had an Olympic themed event to celebrate diversity

Kelowna chamber doesn’t like new payroll health tax

New tax will help government make up loss of revenue from elimination of MSP premiums

New proposal suggested for Gable Beach

District of Lake Country staff’s new recommendations will be presented March 6

Overnight chill falls short of Feb. 21 records

Icy temperatures across the Okanagan-Shuswap don’t beat lows set in 1910, 1894

RCMP continue investigation into missing Sun Peaks man

Ryan Shtuka disappeared after leaving the village of Sun Peaks on Feb. 17

Salvation Army thanks community for fundraising

Local group helped many families over Christmas and the funds will keep going

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Letter: Cartoon was politically, racially biased

Kelowna letter-writer not impressed with editorial cartoon

Senior’s column: Creating mental space

Kelowna columnist Marjorie Horne talks about the aging process in her column

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Penticton joins trade war protest

Opposition to wine boycott is spreading through Okanagan communities

IIO: Kamloops RCMP did not have to report shooting

The IIO is not investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kamloops in 2017

No smoke alarm, faulty cord contributed to fatal B.C. fire

Faulty electric cord and power source connected to space heater believed to have caused flames

Walmart partners online grocery service to bring Vancouver home delivery

Move expands upon similar efforts announced last November to grow home delivery service

Most Read