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Peachland mayoral candidates square off in all candidates forum

More than 350-people listened to the candidates answer 11 questions
Residents fill the Peachland Community Centre Oct. 3 to hear the views of mayor candidates on several topics. (Photo/Capital News)

Three familiar faces explained why they should be the next mayor of Peachland at an all-candidates forum in the community centre on Oct. 3.

Keith Fielding, Cindy Fortin and Patrick Van Minsel are all currently on council. One of the issues they addressed was centred around their vision for the community.

Fielding said there needs to be a process for what the community wants for the future.

“That is my vision, the community vision,” he said. “We have to establish that much more clearly.”

Van Minsel said he has heard from residents that they want a united council.

“In the same goal for Peachland, keep it vibrant, and also we have to let development happen.”

Fortin talked about infrastructure and attainable housing for the community.

“For seniors, we’re on our second building,” she said. “But we also need to encourage young families to come to the community.”

More than 350 people listened to the candidates answer 11 questions. Two of the biggest issues were development and maximum building heights on Beach Avenue, as well as housing.

Fortin said she favours moderate development along Beach Avenue and drew applause from the audience when she noted it’s not the only road in Peachland.

“It’s not the only neighbourhood, it’s not the only place where people live,” she added. “We need to address the entire community.”

Fielding pointed out that the question referenced building heights.

“I believe that a three-storey limit on Beach Ave. is absolutely called for,” he said.

That also drew applause from the crowd.

Van Minsel said if elected he would like to revisit council’s vision for the downtown.

“To ensure there are good elements in it,” he said. “I want to look at creating zoning where we limit the height and frontage on Beach Ave.”

On housing, Fortin advocated for attainable, affordable housing for all.

“We need to have that for young families, and singles and seniors as well,” she said.

Van Minsel said a new council must look for partnerships.

“To bring us the purpose-built developments we need,” he added.

Fielding added that council has done a lot of work in providing housing.

“In addition, we have allowed secondary suites that are a great addition to help with the housing crisis.”

Advance voting for municipal elections opened Oct. 4, with general voting day on Oct. 15.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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