After two terms as Kelowna’s mayor, Colin Basran took his last bow as the city’s worship and congratulated the new incoming council – but not the newly elected mayor by name.
With less than 32 per cent of the 33,953 votes tallied on Saturday (Oct 15), Basran said it has been a dream come true to be the mayor of the city since 2014.
“The people have spoken and in light of the results, I am disappointed. I have come to terms with what has happened and I respect what the wishes of our residents are,” he said.
However, when asked if he was going to congratulate incoming mayor Tom Dyas, who garnered more than 60 per cent of the vote, he responded with a congratulation for council members.
“The mayor is a part of council, I congratulated council and council is nine people.”
He added he didn’t know if he would call Dyas and verbally concede. Those in attendance at Dyas’ campaign headquarters said that the newly elected mayor waited for Basran to call him before claiming his win, yet, without the call, Dyas took the stage to accept his role.
Basran thanked his family and campaign team stating that he couldn’t do it alone and that he is proud of the work he did not in this election and as mayor of Kelowna.
“They say the third term is the hardest but this being there are people out in communities, all communities, not just Kelowna who are upset with various things that have taken place in the last two years, which municipal council has played no role in. But, I think this an opportunity for residents to voice that concern or anger, and that has played a part of it.”
He acknowledged that those who voted may have taken issue with the rapid growth of Kelowna in the last few years, but said there isn’t anything he would change in regard to his time as mayor.
“I have slept very well at night as your mayor because I made decisions based on what I thought was for best for everyone in our community,” he said. “This city is the fastest growing in the country, people want to come here for a reason…… so if we want to close the doors, then that will be the choice of the next council.”
He remained steadfast that Kelowna needs to keep growing as a community in order to provide services to the residents who live here.
“I look forward to seeing (the new council’s) work and seeing how they progress; they are in for a wild ride.”
Basran added that he knows that the people of Rutland are angry and despite being born and raised in that area of town, he takes criticism for his stance on supportive housing.
“There is homelessness and people without homes in their neighbourhood and that would have happened whether there was supportive housing in their neighbourhood or not, because we know people in our community and across the country need homes. So, to say it’s more prevalent because I helped people get a roof over their heads and the supports that they need that is the reason it’s worse?”
Meanwhile, across the city, Dyas was told by a large group of supporters from the Rutland community that he now had keys to their neighbourhood.