Early Years Partnership
Q 1: If elected, what will you do to reduce the rising vulnerability among young children in your community?
CITY OF WEST KELOWNA (CWK) PROVIDES A GRANTS IN AID PROGRAM AS PART OF THE BUDGET PROCESS THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR A WIDE RANGE OF COMMUNITY GROUPS INCLUDING CHILD CENTRED AND YOUTH GROUPS. MANY GROUPS APPLY AND ARE RECIPIENTS. CWK ALSO FUNDS THE CENTRAL OKANAGAN BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB FOR CHILD CENTRED ACTIVITIES AT WEBBER COMMUNITY CENTRE AND FOR YOUTH AT RISK AT LIONS HALL. AT UBCM IN SEPTEMBER I MADE REPRESENTATION TO THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION FOR A NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL IN WEST KELOWNA
Q 2: If elected, what will you do to help increase the number of quality child care spaces in our community?
I WOULD ENCOURAGE COUNCIL TO BE RECEPTIVE TO ZONING FOR CHILD CARE FACILITIES AND PROVIDE RELATED AMENITIES SUCH AS SIDEWALKS OR PARKS TO MAKE THEM SAFE. WEST KELOWNA IS ALSO ZONING OUT POT SHOPS IN THE NEAR VICINITY OF CHILD AND YOUTH CENTRED FACILITIES AND PUBLIC FACILITIES
Q 3: If elected, will you endorse the $10aDay Child Care Plan?
I PERSONALLY SUPPORT THE $10/DAY CHILD CARE PLAN BECAUSE NOT ONLY IS IT GOOD FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS, IT IS A DEEP AND PROFOUND LABOUR MARKET ISSUE TO HELP PARENTS WITH HAVING KIDS IN SAFE AND RELIABLE CHILD CARE, SO THEY CAN WORK AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES. IT'S GOOD FOR EMPLOYERS TOO.
Q 4: If elected, will you advocate for free access to public transit and recreation services for children of all ages and reduced transit fares for low-income individuals and seniors?
FOR FREE OR REDUCED FARES FOR TRANSIT, I WOULD ASK STAFF OF THE CITY, THE STPCO AND BC TRANSIT TO PRESENT A BUSINESS PLAN TO THAT EFFECT. ITS IMPORTANT TO SEE IF IT MIGHT ACTUALLY WORK AND IF THERE IS AN IMPACT ON OVERALL REVENUE (I SUSPECT NOT BECAUSE FARES ARE A SMALL PART OF TRANSIT REVENUE AND IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BRING NEW USERS TO TRANSIT). AS TO RECREATION THERE ARE ALREADY SUBSIDIES FROM THE CITY AVAILABLE TO INDIVIDUALS BUT ALSO YOUTH SPORTS AND RECREATION GROUPS.
Q 5: The municipal government has a responsibility to avoid contributing to the problem of low-wage poverty. If elected will you commit to adopting a living wage policy requiring the municipality (or school district) to pay a living wage to both its employees and contract staff?
THE CITY OF WEST KELOWNA PAYS ITS STAFF WELL AND PROVIDES SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS (HEALTH, DENTAL, PENSION ETC) THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS WITH 2 OR MORE UNIONS. THE CITY PAYS AND PROVIDES KEY BENEFIT PLANS TO ITS MANAGEMENT TEAM (UNION EXCLUDED) THROUGH A MANAGEMENT COMPENSATION POLICY THAT IS BASED ON COMPARATIVES TO OTHER MUNICIPALITIES. MOST CITY EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS ARE ADVERTISED PUBLICLY AND ARE MUCH SOUGHT AFTER.
Q 6: Homelessness and housing affordability is a regional issue that spills from one community to another. If elected, how will you work with the City of Kelowna to support the Journey Home Strategy at a regional level?
West Kelowna already has a seasonal nighttime and daytime homeless shelter supported by the provincial government and a Grant In Aid from the city, and is operated by church and community volunteers. It should be continued with careful consideration to the location; and provision of support health, employment and housing services for exit strategies from homelessness by those clients. Costs are borne by the province however the City can continue to facilitate and advocate for needed services. West Kelowna does not need to jump into Kelowna’s $41 M proposed homelessness plan as we need a measured, modest “made in West Kelowna” solution. West Kelowna must address its own issues.
Q 7: If elected, will you participate in and support the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee - both with financial and staff resources – to develop a local poverty reduction strategy? Please describe what you see as your City’s role.
No. West Kelowna needs to be focused on West Kelowna problems and issues. Financial and staff resources are extremely tight... there is a great deal to accomplish on our own streets and neighbourhoods without sending our people to meetings in Kelowna. I also believe that the provincial government has the lead role on this issue under the Canadian Constitution and would hope that when a strategy is actually developed that West Kelowna would be asked to review it and determine how it could assist.
Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this questionnaire. It was thought provoking. If you have further questions please contact me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or see my campaign website at www.findlater.com.