David Habib is running for mayor of Kelowna. (Capital News file photo)

David Habib is running for mayor of Kelowna. (Capital News file photo)

Kelowna Votes 2022: David Habib

Black Press Media is asking mayoral candidates their thoughts on various community issues

Meet incumbent mayoral candidate David Habib as he sits down to answer some important questions, and a just for fun question, before the election on Oct.15.

David Habib – Mayoral candidate

The following has been transcribed from video: sic)

If elected, what would you like council to accomplish over the next four years?

Well, there are many things and probably the first two things I want to start with are a reduction in crime and infrastructure. When it comes to our crime rate, as many have stated in the past, there are a few percent of the criminals out there who are responsible for the majority of the crime. Of course, we need to deal with those individuals, and we need to give the tools to the RCMP that they need to get the job done. I’ve seen policing change so much in the last several years, and I believe it’s because everybody’s walking around with a camera. A member of the RCMP can’t do anything without being videotaped. The camera doesn’t tell the true story of what’s going on.

Cameras should be thrown out the door, and if they’re going to be part of evidence, it should be a minimal part of evidence. Because in order for the police to do their job, they’ve got to feel unbound, they can’t feel that somebody’s watching what’s going on. Sometimes when it comes to enforcing the law, you have to be aggressive, you have to send a message. I’m not saying beat people up, I’m just saying get the opportunity to communicate without being worried that every word they’re saying is being sent out to the public when it’s interpreted incorrectly.

As mayor, how would you like to see council and staff manage future growth and development in the city?

I’m in the construction business. When it comes to development in our community we have an Official Community Plan (OCP) that we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing. Some might say it’s just a guideline. I don’t buy it. If I’m buying a home in a neighborhood, the first thing I want to do is look at the OCP to see what’s happening in my neighborhood between now and the new one that runs to 2040.

The fact that they’ve (city council) gone so off track and thrown the OCP away is devastating. The fact that nothing should be over 20 stories, even 26 in some areas, and they’re hitting 40-plus stories is ridiculous. There has to be accountability for that.

You know the 685-seat nightclub that’s going down on Ellis right next door to a residential condominium complex, how’s that even possible? How is that even happening when the OCP says nothing over 500 seats? You’re telling me there’s not going to be 685-people waiting in line to get in and you’re telling me at 1 a.m. after consuming alcohol there’s going to be no issues? The RCMP haven’t said they’re in support of this.

It baffles me that kind of stuff happens when it’s the community at large who should decide what’s in their neighborhood. I just don’t know where their (city council) heads are.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2021 Kelowna had the worst crime rate of any census metropolitan area (per 100,000 residents) in Canada. If elected, what could you and council do to address crime?

Regardless of the stat, the perception is what people in the community think, and the community thinks exactly like that. Even if we were to take what Colin (Basran) said as gospel that we are 14th (in crime rate in B.C.) it doesn’t matter. The people in their minds have the perception we’re number one.

Unfortunately, when it comes to crime downtown, a lot of it is intertwined with homelessness, addiction issues, and those other issues that we have to deal with downtown. You’re not going to be able to deal with crime without getting permanent homes for these people getting them off the street and then being able to deal with the prolific offenders because those individuals, although they’re not usually homeless, there is some intertwining there that we need to deal with. So it’s gonna have to take the community approach where everybody’s got their eyes open, you see something you say something, you work with your neighbors, you hug your neighbors and you work together to try and get a resolution. Getting people off the street is the most critical thing for me because I believe when they’re desperate, they’re desperate. They’ll take whatever they get their hands on

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?

I’ve got an easy answer for that. There are so many kids in this community that make me so proud when I’m a parent looking down and going, wow! The future of this country is going to be great because we have so many young people getting involved in things I’m learning how many people are getting involved in politics right now. Kids that have dreams and aspirations of being bigger and better. I always get inspired by the little people, when I say little people I mean under 25.

My experience in the boxing club, with sports, and when you look at sport, what it does to these young people and how they evolve and learn life skills and learn to work together and negotiate through difficult times there’s just so much interaction that’s positive. That’s those are the heroes in my life. Those are the kids that I admire, and it gives me joy every day.

I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I wake up with a smile 24/7. You cannot, doesn’t matter what you write about me, doesn’t matter what you say about me, you’re not going to put me in a bad mood. I know that inner peace has to come from me. The love I share is magnified every time I say to people hey, I love you. I really believe that’s everybody’s job.

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