James Kay is running for a seat on Kelowna council. (Photo/James Kay)

James Kay is running for a seat on Kelowna council. (Photo/James Kay)

Kelowna Votes 2022: James Kay

Black Press Media is asking municipal election candidates their thoughts on various community issues

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.

James Kay – Council candidate

If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?


First, Kelowna needs to reaffirm its commitment to Imagine Kelowna and our Official Community Plan. Residents are intimately involved in the creation of, and consultations surrounding these documents, and they are council’s mandate. From there we support and pursue growth and development that conforms with the public’s wishes and expectations in these plans, and we defend against those that do not. We must encourage, facilitate and approve, in a timely manner, the growth and development that meets our needs.

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?


Kelowna must work with, and lobby, other levels of government to help address homelessness, addictions, and crime. This involves shelters and supportive housing, treatment, and justice, including getting repeat offenders off the street. We need to support our RCMP and bylaw officers with the resources they need, and mandate to keep our streets safe, discourage crime, and enforce our laws consistently and aggressively.

We should consider cracking down on the resale/repurposing of stolen goods. We should increase our use of surveillance and video evidence. We must encourage and coordinate neighbourhood watch and other similar preventative measures.

In your view, what is councils’ responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?


Kelowna must do more: arranging for enough appropriate sites for shelters and camps, proactively procuring sites for BC Housing and CMHC and others to be able to approve ‘shovel-ready’ housing projects, and lobbying for much-needed support. However, there is an enormous number of those on the verge: more rental housing, more attainable sites, more modular/mobile/tiny home parks, more land-lease options, and more labour housing. Engaging the private sector to significantly increase supply is possible and attainable. Council must be careful in the list of capital projects proposed: reductions in project requests will lower the cost of delivering housing.

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?


My favourite Okanagan celebrity is Lenetta Parry. The largest heart I have ever seen, an infectious smile, a contagious laugh, a young woman who puts others first, all the time, and is an irresistible force for good.

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City CouncilCity of KelownaElection 2022Municipal election

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