Tom Dyas is running for mayor of Kelowna. (Barry Gerding/Capital News)

Kelowna Votes 2022: Tom Dyas

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

  • Sep. 29, 2022 4:00 p.m.

Meet mayoral candidate Tom Dyas as he sits down to answer some important questions and a “just for fun” question, before the election on Oct.15.

Tom Dyas

(The following has been transcribed from video: sic)

If elected what would you like council to accomplish over the next four years, what is your vision for Kelowna?

I believe in this community, one of the greatest concerns that citizens have is around crime, safety, and being able to have their voice heard. What I would like council to accomplish is to be able to address the crime issue and simple little changes like establishing a citizens patrol. We are one of the only communities in the Okanagan Valley that does not have a citizens patrol.

To partner more nurses with our RCMP officers to free up some of their time. To hire more bylaw (officers) to allow them to deal with some of the minor issues that are within this community. To establish an open door policy so that when members of this community, have concerns or issues, they feel that they’re being listened to and heard by myself and by my council members. Those are little minor changes that can be made within the community, but they will go a big way in starting to make a difference.

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

Kelowna is a beautiful community and as we want to live here, many other individuals want to also live within our community. But there has been a substantial increase with regards to the development and it’s even got to the point now or it’s at the point now, where members of council have been asked to do a summary of an outline of what developments have been approved because they’re not certain how many towers have been approved within this community.

It is important to continue to develop housing for our missing middle, and that comes in the way of townhomes. It comes in the way of carriage homes and it comes in the way of suites within houses. There is a need for this community to continue to grow. But it needs to be controlled and managed.

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?

I was aware of that report and it did state that Kelowna is number one nationally with regard to crime and number two, with respect to crime against individuals. That report stated that our crime rate right now is at 11,000 per 100,000 individuals within our community. There has been lots of discussion about prolific offenders and that there are 15 individuals who are creating 1,000 crimes within this community. But even if we remove those 1,000 crimes from the 11,000, we’re still at 10,000 crimes per 100,000 individuals. The next closest city is at 9,000, so that still puts us at number one in crime.

It has also been said that it is based on, or potentially blamed on tourism, but there are other communities within Canada that have tourism. Vancouver, Whistler and Niagara Falls, and they’re not sitting at number one in crime. That’s not where we want to be. One of the items that we can look at, is first off, since it is a major issue for this community, is structure regular meetings with our superintendent of RCMP. We’re in a situation where it’s going to affect our community, if we do not.

That would be one of the steps that I would take to help to move forward to resolve this. As I said before, looking at establishing citizen patrols, is something that has helped other communities within B.C. and within the Okanagan Valley help reduce that index.

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?

So, this one was a little tough because when my kids were younger a lot of it was Ogopogo. But as they got to be a little bit older, it happened to be Rocky Raccoon because of the hockey. I was involved substantially with the success of the 2020 Memorial Cup bid, was very involved with the Rockets organization, and was close to Rocky Raccoon numerous times. It was tight between the two because they both bring great tourism to the area, but I think I’ll give it to Rocky.

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City CouncilCity of KelownaElection 2022Mayor's RaceMunicipal election

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