Black Press Media is reaching out to all candidates running for Kelowna council in the 2022 municipal election, asking for their response to three specific issues about the community, as well as a fun question. Responses will be published in the order they are received.
Anthony Shephard – Council candidate
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?
We need our growth to be focused on what existing and future residents need, backed with a development plan. Who buys a 3 million dollar condo? We can build some of those sure, however i,f you build $350,000 – $400,000 condos and some affordable single-family homes, they can be bought by locals hoping to start a family or someone downsizing, sometimes opening up a single-family starter for a family. Let’s find a ratio and make developers build to what we need not what they want. Building taller is ok but we need to be mindful of the impacts for our existing residents and our infrastructure, Infrastructure needs to be planned and built out before we grow much more. More developments out of town continue to put greater strain on our already over-taxed areas. We can’t keep building new floors on top of an old structure without looking at the foundation, we are asking for a failure that could be messy and expensive (think city-wide sewer backup).
In 2021, Kelowna had the second highest property rate crime in the country, what should city council do to help address street and property crime in the city?
The best reasonably current example of crime reduction was New York City in the 90s. The plan was simple don’t tolerate small and petty crime or rundown properties. If you break the law you were arrested and punished. As a councillor I will holler loud, long, and persistently. The RCMP should arrest everyone who commits an offense. No more warnings or “it is just too much paperwork”. If crown prosecutors and judges have discretion then always consider the risk to the public first. YOUR rights come first if not we need to change the law.
In your view, what is council’s responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?
Different studies show housing is anywhere from three times to over 20 times cheaper than having someone homeless. Hospital, police, crime, etc. makes the cost go up. Council needs to advocate for a province-wide solution. Contributing space will help but this is a province-wide problem. Every community needs to provide housing based on their population to spread out the cost for all communities, Kelowna should not pay a disproportionate share.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
Well, I can’t pick just one so I would go with Ara and Toby on Beach Radio. No particular reason decent music and they are funny, just irreverent enough.