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Kelowna Votes 2022: Loyal Wooldridge

Black Press Media is asking municipal election candidates their thoughts on various community issues
Loyal Wooldridge is running for a seat on Kelowna council. (Black Press file photo)

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.

Loyal Wooldridge - Incumbent councillor

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

How we grow needs to be done responsibly and consider people’s social needs, economic success, and safety. I would manage growth while prioritizing housing that addresses affordability through all housing forms especially below-market social housing. Similarly, we need to manage growth and consider people who probably aren’t born yet. It means prioritizing parks, sidewalks, recreation spaces with senior and youth programs, etc, as well.

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?

Social issues contributing to crime are complex. Prolific offenders need higher levels of accountability and organized crime needs to be held to a higher degree of accountability. People with complex mental health and substance misuse disorder need safe housing and enhanced treatment options to prevent cycles of mischief, theft, etc. Most importantly, to prevent at-risk youth from falling through the cracks, they need to be identified early and supported with afterschool and housing options.

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

Build more affordable housing as fast as possible. Social housing should have faster approvals and higher levels of density to deliver housing rapidly. We should focus on allowing non-profit, cooperative and mixed-income housing to build higher densification more quickly. Further, Council should acquire Affordable Housing Land and partner with local philanthropists and fundraisers to build innovative housing projects. In the interim, BC Housing needs to invest more into purpose-built shelters to prevent people from tenting as their only housing option.

Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?

Loose Moose of Big White. Since being elected, I’ve been inspired to learn how to ski since my travel has been limited, I love staying local and connected to Kelowna. Loose Moose greets so many of us on the hill for a monster cookie in between runs and is always game for a selfie.

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