Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to city council candidates in both Kelowna and West Kelowna to help voters get to know those putting their names forward. Between the two cities, 45 people are running for city councillor.
All candidates have been given the same questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity when needed. Responses will be published daily in the weeks ahead. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is here and is being updated daily.
Election day is Oct. 15.
Kelowna candidate: Mohini Singh
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
I take a measured, well thought out and a balanced approach in decision making. Much like I did as an investigative reporter, I research the issue, reach out to subject matter experts for input, speak to neighbours who may be affected, so I can make the best decision for the future of our city and the citizens of Kelowna.
In your view, what is the number one issue facing the city today, and how would you deal with it knowing city hall only has so much power?
There are several issues that are all interconnected so I believe just isolating it to one issue would not be appropriate. Crime is on the minds of many residents, our growing homeless situation is of great concern. The housing shortage is of extreme concern. For a healthy community, it is essential our residents to have a place to call home.
However we need support from both levels of government to be able to deal with these social issues. For crime issues we need to work closely with law enforcement agencies and engage at the grassroots level to ensure we are able to get a total understanding about what is unfolding. With the homeless situation we need federal and provincial support to effectively house the people on the street and provide appropriate services to help them get back on their feet.
Finally with the housing shortage the municipality can negotiate affordable housing units and other amenities for variances. As well, city-owned property can be used for affordable housing units. I would also like to see the city engage with developers to build affordable units within market-priced housing units so the economic difference of the residents is not known and it lends itself to building a healthy community.
It could be decades before a second bridge is built across Okanagan Lake. How do you deal with Kelowna's transportation bottleneck in the meantime?
I do believe the discussion for a second crossing has to begin in earnest as that needs careful engineering design and political will from all levels of government. Designing a city and densifying it will help us get more people wanting to use public transit and it will give us more bus routes and that way people may be more willing to use public transit and not drive.
Secondly building city centres gives people the opportunity to live close to work so using their vehicles could be lessened.
Do you think Kelowna is growing too fast?
It certainly has attracted the attention of the world. I believe it will continue to grow.
How would you make Kelowna more affordable?
This is dictated by the marketplace, but as a local government we can continue to provide public green space for families to recreate, centres with inexpensive programs for the youth, families and seniors and events for everyone to enjoy.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
$1 million doesn’t go a long way these days, I would put the money to programs with the most impact for public good.