Kelowna mayoral candidate Tom Dyas was left surprised by the margin of victory for incumbent Colin Basran in Saturday’s municipal election.
Dyas said what he was hearing on the campaign trail was many people being uncomfortable how city council was handling the safety aspect of downtown, traffic congestion and unfinished bypass and Upper Mission road projects and rising housing costs all coupled with annual tax increases.
“So hearing that, I am surprised it was not a lot closer but I congratulate Colin and his team for their campaign. We were hoping we would win the race, but I said at the outset I wanted to bring issues forward based on what I experienced and others experienced in trying to address issues in this community that appeared to be falling on deaf ears,” said Dyas, speaking at his post-election gathering Saturday night at the Kanata Hotel.
He stressed, however, that his campaign still attracted 30 per cent of the vote as more than 9,518 people voted for him, while Basran secured 18,118 votes.
Dyas noted his campaign started five weeks ago, on the heels of his involvement chairing the Kelowna Rocket successful bid to host the 2020 Memorial Cup, with many supporters and volunteers who were finding their way in how to run an effective campaign.
“I look forward now that we have a successful understanding how these campaigns work and everyone is set up with a job description, who knows what is coming up in the future as other things will be happening shortly,” he said.
While Dyas declined to offer further details on his future political interests, among those “other things” would be the race for the Conservative Party nomination in the next federal election for the Kelowna-Lake Country riding and a possible Liberal riding candidacy in the 2021 provincial election.
While acknowledging the close friendship between he and Basran had been strained by his candidacy, Dyas feels that relationship will be restored in time.
“I would answer that question with little bit of a story. In business, numerous times I have competed against individuals who are friends. Sometimes you win the business deal, sometimes you don’t. In sports, as I grown up I have competed in championship games against individuals who are friends, and are still friends to this day,” he said.
“I believe the mature aspect of it looking forward, yes there will be communications going forward that obviously will be little rustier than was at one point in time, but is that potentially something good for community and the community will benefit for, yes I think so.”