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: Indy Dhial
Why would you make an effective city councillor?
My family moved to Kelowna when I was born and I’ve been involved in the community through sports my entire life. Whether that was coaching local school teams, managing and organizing my own teams, or hosting team events and tournaments, I have done it all. In addition to my volunteer involvement, I spent 16 years working at Shaw communications in corporate leadership working with small business owners, new development teams and investing in our communities. My most recent experience as small business owner in the childcare sector has shown me the resilience that we are going to need to succeed if we are going to create change in our city.
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?
Crime and safety is our most pressing issue today and why I chose to run for a seat at city council. We must start at the ground roots of the issue understanding what is driving parts of our population to live on the streets and many times, leading to drug use, addiction and crime. Focusing on helping those that want it and helping prevent those that are close to falling into situations will be one of the keys to mitigating this issue.
The Journey Home program has been a great starting place for some of these issues, but we need to understand what is working and what isn’t, allocating funds to what has been successful and reassessing what isn’t. Understanding what has been working in other cities who are dealing with similar issues and bringing these new ideas to our city will be an important step in creating the change we are all looking for.
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?
Promoting green choices that take vehicles off the road such as improving our transit system and focusing on bottleneck areas will be an important path for our city to invest in. Our cities 10-year capital plan has ear marked $1.49 billion to spend on infrastructure and we need to make sure it is being spent in the areas that need it the most.
Do you think Kelowna is growing too fast?
We are growing faster than I think anyone expected, but when you live in a place as desirable as we do, it is understandable. Growth brings opportunity to our city from tourism and agriculture to technology and construction but with rapid growth comes many of the problems we are seeing today.
How would you make Kelowna more affordable?
Affordability in Kelowna is a conversation about housing costs and rental availability. If you drive around Kelowna you will see buildings popping up everywhere but not many single family homes. The supply of apartments and condominiums will be here sooner than later which should stabilize and hopefully bring down the cost of rental locations and ability to purchase. The lack of affordable single-family homes makes it difficult for many families to be able to buy and a rental market many can’t afford. As a council, we must look at how our land is being used and ensuring developments are meeting the economical needs of all of our residents.
If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?
Investing in active living programs encouraging all ages to be able to participate in activities that may otherwise have been out of their geographical or economical reach. Many that live here have never had an opportunity to play volleyball on the beach or spend a day above the clouds at Big White, let’s make sure everyone that lives here has an opportunity to partake in the activities people from across the world come here to enjoy.