Early Years Partnership
Norah M Bowman - Kelowna School Trustee candidate
Q1 If elected, what will you do to reduce the rising vulnerability among young children in your community?
I would work to improve resources for public school educators and helpers to be attentive to children’s needs. Teachers and school staff are often the first adults children meet outside of their close family, so school emotional and health support is crucial.
An example is the opportunity for schools to provide breakfast, lunch and snack for children. I would move towards a request-based nutritional support, and would not ask families to provide any documents to prove their need. Most schools already provide nutritional support without any documentation. Many families are in need regardless of being working families, and nutrition for children should be provided zero barrier.
As well, I would advocate for our provincial government to roll out a living wage increase across the province, in 2019.
I would petition the board to make SD23 a living age employer, for all employees and contract workers.
Q 2: If elected, what will you do to help increase the number of quality child care spaces in our community?
I would work with the school board to provide provincial funding for schools to convert space into child care centres; there is currently a funding envelope for these projects in the 2018 provincial budget. The centres can provide child care after school and at times when the spaces are not in use by the school, and can help working parents with affordable, safe, child care without transportation worries.
Q 3: If elected, will you endorse the $10aDay Child Care Plan?
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?
Yes, absolutely. I would advocate for free access for children, low-income individuals and seniors. I would advocate for reduced fares and recreation services for all educators. This is common practice in many countries, as it shows respect and gratitude for our teachers as well as reducing traffic congestion close to schools.
Q5: 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 it’s employees and contract staff?
Yes, I would move that SD23 become a living wage employer to employees and contract staff.
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?
I would be happy to work with city council on Journey Home. I support this project 100%.
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.
Kelowna should continue to be a leader in poverty reduction. This means policies that do not criminalize or shame poverty, that do not celebrate wealth as a moral good, and that provide a political voice for people living in financial need or in poverty.
I would participate in the implementation of poverty reduction policies and I would continue to advocate for a living wage for all, and for lower rents and better housing initiatives.
I would advocate for the creation of housing co-ops, as they are long term, sustainable, community-building affordable housing for working families. Kelowna should have at least 10 housing co-ops,