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October: Kelowna has a new mayor

Tom Dyas elected over two-term incumbent Colin Basran
Tom Dyas was handed the ‘keys to Rutland’ after winning the Kelowna mayoral race in the 2022 election. (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

Kelowna welcomed a new mayor to city council on Oct. 15 after almost 35,000 residents voted in the municipal election.

Tom Dyas was elected mayor with 21,328 votes, unseating two-term incumbent Colin Basran.

Dyas gave his victory speech just an hour and a half after polls closed at the Best Western hotel in Kelowna, joined by many members of the Rutland community.

He thanked Basran for his contribution to the city and gave a nod to the other three mayoral candidates – David Habib, Silverado Socrates and Glendon Smedley.

Dyas added that he thought Basran would have been closer in the polls, but he was not shocked.

“I kind of thought they would be a little tighter, but you know, I guess that’s what happens after eight years. People want a change and they’re voicing their opinions, which is perfect.”

In the 2018 election, Dyas received 29.92 per cent of the vote, compared to Basran’s 56.95 per cent.

Across town at Basran’s downtown campaign headquarters, he took his last bow as the city’s worship and congratulated the new incoming council – but not the newly elected mayor by name.

“The mayor is a part of council, I congratulated council and council is nine people,” he said.

He acknowledged those who voted may have taken issue with the rapid growth of Kelowna in the last few years, but said there isn’t anything he would change in regard to his time as mayor.

“I have slept very well at night as your mayor because I made decisions based on what I thought was for best for everyone in our community,” he said. “This city is the fastest growing in the country, people want to come here for a reason… so if we want to close the doors, then that will be the choice of the next council.”

Joining Dyas as new faces to council were Ron Cannan, with the most votes at 17,152 votes, Rick Webber (11,795 votes) and Gord Lovegrove (11,609 votes).

Re-elected to council were incumbents Loyal Wooldridge with the second highest vote count of 14,700, Mohini Singh (11,585 votes), Luke Stack (11,421 votes), Charlie Hodge (11,374 votes) and Maxine DeHart (11,218 votes). Two-term councillors Ryan Donn and Brad Sieben decided not to run in the 2022 election, but both praised Basran for his leadership.

Elected to the Central Okanagan Board of Education for Kelowna were Julia Fraser (13,599 votes), Wayne Broughton (13,387 votes), Lee-Ann Tiede (12,258 votes) and Val Johnson (12,003 votes). Tiede subsequently was elected by trustees as the new board chair in November to replace the retied Moyra Baxter, with trustees Fraser and Chantelle Desrosiers, of West Kelowna, also bidding for the role.

Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduate of BCIT working in the field of journalism for 16 years
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