Kelowna council not 'bold'

I sat through yet another Kelowna city council meeting Monday afternoon and was once again forced to contain myself.

It is exhausting and disheartening, to say the least, to always leave council chambers wishing for better for our community and knowing our current council members don't understand why people are so frustrated with them.

They have become so accustomed to sitting in those chairs and going about the business of our city with no real thought to the true impact they have.

As council discussed items, I (held) my head in hands and, if I hadn’t had a mask on, could have been seen muttering some choice words.

I took to Twitter as the meeting was underway to declare my disgust at a few points. I eventually left. It gets to be too much sometimes, to sit there and be quiet like I was told (to do) by Mayor Colin Basran so long ago. But I digress.

Affordable housing was the issue that finally broke me.

Kelowna city council wants to pat itself on the back that it has done everything possible—“pulled all the levers.”

I disagree. Many options remain open to municipal governments. As the Official Community Plan declares, we need to be bold. It is not bold to throw our hands up in the air and say it isn't our jurisdiction.

Bold is:

• Coming up with thoughtful progressive ideas

• Support for co op housing

• Building social housing on properties the city owns

• Not allowing bidding wars on city owned rentals

• By laws to create low income rentals in new developments

• Putting a stop to all the greed it supports

Coun. Ryan Donn mentioned protests in Berlin and that there will be a breaking point here too. Kelowna is the fourth most expensive city in the entire country. That breaking point is here for many.

As the city hands out $10,000 for design competitions maybe it is time for it to ask who it is designing for. As Coun. Gayle Given said, it isn't for her kids.

Be bold, be resilient, be unafraid to do things differently. Let's ensure we mean that because we have to if we want a healthy community.

Heather Friesen

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