West Kelowna council Image: City of West Kelowna

West Kelowna looks to better housing for farm workers

Council Members want to ‘come into the 21st Century’ with taking care of temporary workers

West Kelowna city council unanimously approved second reading of a bylaw addressing the quality of life for migrant workers.

Nancy Henderson, general manager of development services, and Dallas Clowes, senior planner city of West Kelowna, told council the need to improve living standards for temporary agricultural worker housing by mandating proper washrooms, showers and kitchens for workers living in tents and vehicles. adjustments are aimed at addressing complaints about substandard farm housing.

“If this stops a farmer from thinking that a garden hose in the back of the shed qualifies as a shower for their migrant workers it has done it’s job in my mind,” Coun. Rick de Jong said.

Related:West Kelowna wants public input on farm worker housing

Council also proposed to raise the fine for bylaw infractions from $500 to $1,000 — the maximum fine permitted —which will be put in effect in August.

“I think this is something we do need to do and it’s time to come into the 21st Century,” Mayor Doug Findlater said. “We are a community that has a lot of agriculture, we are a pro agriculture council.”

However, in the amendment to the bylaw, council wanted to ensure the housing created and updated is for the temporary workers and not given to farm workers by restricting the stay in the housing for working to be eight months and the possibility of changing it to 10 months out of the year which has received mixed reactions from council as to how the bylaws will be enforced.

Coun. Bryden Winsby voiced his concern about the enforcement of the new amendments to the bylaws.

“The enforcement and inspection by whom? Is this complaint driven?” Coun. Winsby said.

Related:Large farm worker housing plan set for approval

Due to staff resources and management there is no ability to enforce through regular checks.

The development of a regional standard and community delegation to West Kelowna Council was made in August 2017 to review the regulations regarding temporary worker housing due to infractions and illegal occurrences according to the council agenda. Meetings with local land owners were held in in January to receive feedback and a survey was also put to the general community to get their feedback earlier this year.

A public hearing for the bylaw will soon be scheduled.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UBCO Heat men’s and women’s basketball squads bounce over MacEwan

The women got their first win of the season, while the men keep their playoff hopes alive

Surrey man fined $10,000 by Kelowna’s Provincial Court

The man was convicted for three Wildlife Act offences after shooting a bull moose not in season

West Kelowna Warriors fall short to Vernon

The Warriors lost 1-0 in the hard fought battle

Rockets snap streak, shutout Everett 2-0

Kelowna got their first win in seven games against the second best team in the league.

Women’s march to be held in Kelowna today

The march takes place at 11:30 a.m. at the Dolphins

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Letter: BrainTrust offers support for Kelowna housing project

Kelowna - “Fifty three per cent of homeless individuals live with a brain injury…”

Most Read