The next steps in building a better Kelowna area

Your local MLAs Ben Stewart, Steve Thomson and I recently asked residents to prioritize a list of 17 capital projects identified by leaders in our area. 

mugshot name

Your local MLAs Ben Stewart, Steve Thomson and I recently asked residents to prioritize a list of 17 capital projects identified by leaders in our area. 

Residents were also given the option of including capital priorities outside the list of 17 that were important to them.

The response was tremendous, with more than 650 people giving their input.

On behalf of Ben, Steve and myself, I want to thank everybody who took the time to participate.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time residents have been asked to help prioritize capital projects by the area’s three MLAs, and the strong response received clearly indicates the process should be repeated in the future.

Over the next few days, the submissions from each constituency will be consolidated into a single list.

Any name identifiers will be removed to protect privacy, and a report will be generated presenting the level of support for each project proposed.

The next task is to identify all aspects surrounding each proposal in order to focus our efforts.

Government funds—your funds—are limited.

It is therefore very important that questions be answered as we prepare to advocate for our community’s priorities.

Some of the questions to be considered are:

• Which projects are shovel-ready?

• Which provincial ministry – or ministries – would be involved?

• Who is taking the lead? (water suppliers, school district, IHA, others)?

• Is funding available through programs such as the Build Canada Plan?

• Should a particular project be funded by the Province alone, with other levels of government, or as a public-private partnership (P3)?

• How much public support was expressed for each project through this consultation process?

All of this information— and more—will be compiled into a large matrix.

Once ready, it will be made available to residents through our websites, the media, public meetings and at our offices.

After all, this process is based on the input of citizens and that will continue.

This is a process that requires an intensive effort in consultation, along with a hard-nosed commitment to get on with the job.

Since being elected in 2009, we have worked with MLAs, MPs and our municipal partners throughout the Okanagan to secure hundreds of millions of dollars for spending on local highways, hospitals, housing and other important investments.

A recent example is the $77.9 million Highway 97 Winfield-Oyama four-laning project, which last week received federal environmental approval and has now gone to tender.

Some of the infrastructure programs have expired now, but armed with your priority list we will be able to continue the work of presenting the best case to the relevant decision makers and partners for continued investment in one of Canada’s fastest growing areas.  

Norm Letnick is the Liberal MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country.

Just Posted

Carrot Mountain fire fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Two fires caused by lightning at Big White last night

The fires are currently being contained

Three fires sparked in Peachland overnight

BC Wildfire working on scene

UPDATED: Prepare for Highway 97 to close again due to wildfire

Motorists may use an alternate route via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3

Neighbours jump into action after grass fire ignites 10 feet from Kelowna home

Multiple fire halls responded to a grass fire on the 800 block of Mount Royal Drive.

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

Hockey trip fraudster receives house arrest

Man duped 16 families with Okanagan Elite Hockey Association out of over $100,000

Four wild fires still burning near Keremeos

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Installers to battle Team B.C.

Exhibition men’s fastball Saturday in Vernon

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Most Read