This is a Pivotal Moment for Penticton
What we do next matters.
And how we do it is just as important.
That is why i am running for mayor
Housing and Affordable Housing
Affordable housing has become a pressing issue for many cities in Canada and Penticton is no exception. Building different types of affordable housing to alleviate the growing number of people at risk of becoming homeless must be one of the city’s main priorities. Building a plan of action to remove the gaps in the levels of housing is vital in dealing with this issue.
Even though many of the homeless are ‘working homeless’ the steep rise in the homeless population is stretching the services being provided by the Provincial and Federal Governments to breaking point and has resulted in a sense of desperation within those caught up in this dilemma. Everybody I have spoken to wants to see all levels of government, including municipal, to do something to prevent the growth in those at risk of becoming homeless, and it is vital that we, as a city, work with both higher levels of government to create the necessary housing to help reduce the stress on the system.
These are just a few of the options open to us; we just need the political will to analyze the best options for Penticton and implement them.
Crime and Community Safety
Petty crime and Community Safety is often associated with the homeless. But it has a closer association with the wave of addictions sweeping our society. Penticton is not alone in this wave with almost all towns and cities reporting similar concerns.
The drugs today are far more deadly than the drugs of 15-20 years ago, and using 20th century solutions to these 21st century problems will not work. The city has started to look for answers but this process needs to be much quicker.
No other issue creates more emotions and anger within our society and the people expect the City to take action on dealing with the problem.
In the spring of 2022 the city council voted to have a report commissioned on community safety. So far this report is being prepared but has not been delivered to the city. We need to keep the pressure going to get the report delivered to the city and build an action plan asap.
A Healthy Economy
Penticton has always struggled to attract high end industries with well paid jobs.
In all the conversations I have had with industry leaders, the common drawbacks for relocating to Penticton are the lack of major transportation links to allow them to get their products to market, the lack of a skilled workforce and the lack of affordable housing options for attracting new workers.
Penticton needs to take advantage of its attributes and concentrate on a 21st century approach to building a healthy economy. In today’s world there is a fast growing sector of the workforce that have the ability to work from home or can work both at an office and at home.
Those folks have the ability to live anywhere they want and this is where Penticton has distinct advantages.
Taking steps to make Penticton a ‘cool place to live’ will be far more effective in attracting remote workers. Making changes that reflect a focus on Penticton being a “Livable City” where lifestyle is valued above all else should be a goal that will ultimately benefit all of us.
These measures, when coupled with our affordable housing and community safety policies will make Penticton a truly “Liveable City.”
A Resilient City
How can Penticton protect itself from the economic and environmental uncertainties of the future? We live in a fragile environmental location with a relatively small percentage on land that is suitable for farming and with a slow-moving fresh water lake system in a valley that is easily affected by wildfires and droughts.
Penticton owns its power utility and as such should be creating more renewable power facilities to help reduce the city’s reliance on high voltage transmission lines from major utility companies that sell us the power we consume. This will not only save the city and consumers money but it will allow us to continue the supply of power during extreme emergency events.
Protecting our farmland is also of paramount importance for a resilient community. Having the ability to grow our own food could be vital in an uncertain future and once farmland is gone then it is gone forever. We need to ensure that we have an adequate and healthy level of farmland in and around our community.
Protecting the quality our water sources and courses affects the wellbeing of all of the people in our valley. Working with the Okanagan Water Basin Authority to ensure a clean and pristine water supply will keep the city livable and help keep the community healthy.