Don't listen to supporters

Why are we seeing political endorsements in the letters on Castanet?

I find it interesting we now have people writing letters to Castanet voicing their support for political candidates. The most recent two are from a couple.

I think the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is providing a much more equal opportunity forum for the mayoral candidates to present their platforms on Oct. 4 than those of personal supporters.

Given our current mayor couldn’t even announce his candidacy in a public and welcoming manner, we should be given the opportunity to hear his future plans for Kelowna from him, not his supporters.

The forum will allow us to submit questions for the candidates in advance.

Let the candidates present their platforms on our future and answer our questions, not (hear from) the supporters of any given candidate.

Jacqueline Jones


Colour-code roundabout

Re: Roundabout changes made (Castanet, Sept. 23)

The answer to make (the Vernon roundabout on 39th Avenue) easier to use, especially for people that don’t use this every day, is to make it easier to understand.

That’s easy to do. Color code the markings and arrows on the pavement, just like the city’s drawing showed.

Everything is in white paint. Change to a colour-coded system. Problem solved.

Paint the arrows and lines as per the drawing and add one more colour.

Even the drawing is confusing. Good for planners, but not users.

Gene Maskulak

Will take Dyas over Basran

Re. John Weisbeck’s letter Sit as a councillor first (Castanet, Sept. 23)

I’m writing in response to a letter by John Weisbeck.

I want to start off by saying it’s funny to read back-to-back posts by John and his wife Alli McNeill in support of (Kelowna Mayor Colin) Basran. I guess one letter wasn’t enough.

John wrote his letter about the need to be on council first before being mayor, and took the opportunity to take jabs at (mayoral candidate) Tom Dyas, who’s the former president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

(Weisbeck) says he knows you have to be on council first, before being mayor, because he was on council before, and then says that (former councillor) Andre Blanleil said the same thing, so it must be true.

What’s funny about that statement is neither John nor Andre have ever been mayor, so how on earth would they know?

I did a quick Google search and none of the current mayors of Vancouver, Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto, to name a few, served on council before being mayor. Kelowna’s a special place in Canada, but we certainly don’t have a special requirement to be mayor.

Dyas has worked in the financial and insurance business for 37 years. He’s been on the advocacy committee of the Kelowna chamber for nine years, was president of the chamber for two years, and sat on numerous boards including the Journey Home Task Force, Child Advocacy Centre Board, Airport Advisory Committee and more.

That’s his most recent experience.

Basran was a TV personality and then a realtor for an extremely brief stint. I’ll take Dyas’ experience over Basran’s any day of the week.

Look at the results under Basran. We have the highest crime rate in Canada, that’s some legacy he’s leaving. But wait, thank goodness he was on council first. Clearly that experience paid off in spades.

Thanks for the advice former non-mayor residents, but I’ll take the long-term Kelowna businessman and volunteer over the two-term mayor and former TV personality who’s left us with the highest crime rate in Canada.

Cassandra Lake, Kelowna

Gauging candidates' 'vision'

My folks always told me municipal elections can be be more important than provincial or federal elections because they have a direct effect on your day-to-day life in the community.

I’ve lived part time in Kelowna for 11 years and full time since 2016. I've seen some changes—good and bad—but never really got to know who was running things.

Having lived in Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal, I quickly realized there seems to be more bureaucracy in Kelowna than anywhere else. For a regular taxpaying (resident), getting any action or answers from anyone in the municipality can be a challenge.

I have noticed anything that might bring in a tax dollar gets fast-tracked without much forethought for the future. I've seen this in my own backyard.

I saw an endorsement earlier this week for (incumbent Mayor) Colin Basran from Dragon's Den's Brett Wilson, whose politics are definitely not in line with mine, and then again with a letter to Castanet Friday by Flo Masson that barely mentioned any of Basran's accomplishments after eight years.

There was not a mention of what his vision for the future is either.

No disrespect to Flo Masson, as I'm sure she believes in Basran, but letters like that are similar to the political toxicity that spreads like wildfire on social media.

In this election, I will do a deep dive into all the candidates I am eligible to vote for to see what their vision is, and make my vote count.

William Zavers, Kelowna

Sit as a councillor first

As a former City of Kelowna councillor and former two-term MLA, I know the importance of having experience in a formal political setting to get the job done professionally and without wasting taxpayers’ money.

(Former city councillor) Andre Blanleil was recently quoted as stating how important it is for anyone running for mayor to have been a councillor first, to learn the ropes and the rules.

The fact that (mayoral candidate) Tom Dyas has not been in the political arena ever concerns me. I believe he needs to learn the ropes first by working through the opportunity of sitting as a council member and working as (part of) a team.

We are voting for the “proven experience” which Mayor Colin Basran has showcased from the time he was a City of Kelowna councillor and when he became our mayor in (2014).

John Weisbeck

Supporting Kelowna's mayor

(Mayor) Colin Basran’s family have lived in Kelowna since 1902, when his grandfather moved here from India. They settled in Rutland.

Colin (has seen) Kelowna grow from a small town into the fastest growing community in Canada. Now, as a family man, he wants to see his children, and eventually his grandchildren, thrive. This is a man who wants the best for this place we call home.

The boundaries around this city mean growth is limited as water and mountains surround us. Council has divided us into five areas of growth and each one needs attention with long-range planning to prevent too much expensive urban sprawl and for optimal growth.

Planning is vital for our community and Colin always looks ahead to ensure this is done well. He expresses ideas for this, through increasing housing for families and rental and condo units to bring down rental costs.

He and the province are hard at work providing containment for those who are unable to cope in our society due to mental illness and/or criminal behaviours. There are now 30 beds for these individuals, so they no longer go through the revolving door of our justice system and threaten our population.

He is in constant touch with the province to ensure our health care improves.

Colin has the expertise, knowledge and contacts to see our city grow well and safely so we are prepared to be leaders in Canada in every respect.

I (will) vote for Colin, who has guided us through this difficult time. I encourage everyone to listen to one of his talks and vote for him.

Flo Masson, Kelowna

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