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.
Peter Truch - Council candidate
If elected, how do you think council should manage growth and development in Kelowna?
Most development is being approved without proper study or consultation with residents. Decision-making at council is not based on truth or transparency, but on what is being ‘sold’ to them, with reports containing cherry-picked information. We haven’t got the basics right and council is not asking. A good example is firefighter staffing levels. We do not have anywhere close to the required number to fight high-rise fires, yet staff and council are dismissive of the issue to me, other members of the public, even to the firefighters themselves.
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?
Much of the ‘property’ crime is what directly affects residents. We need the city to ensure that people are housed, fed, and that they have an opportunity to be productive in society with the talents they have. Once that happens, crime rates will drop, but not disappear. For the remaining and more serious crimes, we need to ensure that policing staff levels are adequate. Perhaps CCTV cameras, like are in operation in many other areas of the world, should be considered.
In your view, what is council’s responsibility in assisting those experiencing homelessness, and providing affordable housing for Kelowna residents?
Leadership from council is needed. People without homes are most in need, but there are so many others, mostly working families that are one step away due to the extreme escalation in rents and purchase prices.
1) Understand, through a rapid study, the income levels currently in Kelowna, and expected income levels/potential in the near future for incoming residents. 2) Have Council zone/approve missing middle housing in the central areas of the city, helping to minimize both housing and mobility costs. Ensure approvals reflect the available housing supply is sufficient based on Kelowna’s income levels.
3) If this is not enough to provide affordable housing for all income levels (eg: construction costs aren’t low enough to provide the supply), then the city needs to develop a financial program that is complementary to provincial and federal programs to help residents attain housing (purchase and/or rental), similar to Regina’s.
Who is your favourite Okanagan celebrity and why?
I’m not much of one to care about celebrity, but I do admire current part-time Okanagan resident Carey Price for handling his celebrity with humbleness, grace, and dignity, even when faced with significant adversity, and former WFN Chief Derickson for standing up to corruption and doing what was right.