In part nine of our 10 part series questioning the 31 candidates running for one of eight councillor positions in Kelowna, Castanet News asked each candidate:
Question #9 - What does sustainability mean to you and how do you propose to make Kelowna a sustainable city?
--Note: Candidates who do not appear did not send in an answer in time for this feature.
Billie Aaltonen - Sustainability means to me a city that is resilient in economic booms and busts.
Ken Chung - Through well thought out development projects.
Cal Condy - Sustainability means planting a garden and then using the seed from that crop to plant next years garden. How many hundreds of acres of unused (City) land are we sitting on that could be used to grow all kinds of stuff.
Maxine DeHart - Sustainability means a vibrant economy, healthy citizens, and clean, protected environment. Densifying our town centres and limiting urban sprawl will help us provide better services, reduce our reliance on the car, create more vibrant business centres, and protect our natural spaces.
Ryan Donn - To me sustainable means that if we continued to make the same choices we would be able to continue making them for the foreseeable future. We need to protect our ALR and support our agricultural community. Sustainable food is very important to our communities success and increased innovation is needed between tourism and agriculture. We cannot continue to just sprawl into the hills but must focus on creating density within our community as a main sustainable practice. Our current water usage per capita (twice the national average) is unsustainable considering the climate change that is upon us (California). As our demographics continue to greatly effect our city we need to ensure that we are making Kelowna attractive for families to return to and that the jobs are here for our students to stay in our community. We need to actually hit our CO2 emission projections and from what I read we are already on track. We need to protect our clean water, implement the soon to be finalized clean air plan, and simply take action that accepts the many changes in our community. Most people haven't quite realized that our community dealt with 3 “once in a hundred year” floods over the past 5 years. That is a concern that we need to plan for to ensure our flood management planning is world class.
Ken Finney - Sustainability means to supply necessities the most efficient way. This takes into consideration the fuel and energy we consume with respect for tomorrow, that allows efficient but safe use with the least amount of footprint on our resources. By encouraging and educating the public about municipal, provincial and federal programs and providing access to such programs.
Gail Given - For me sustainability is an inter-related web that includes many factors; from economic health, to built environment, water-shed, air-shed, land-use, protection of the environment, to mobility, energy use, size of tree canopy, food security, protection or restoration of riparian areas, research and development etc. Sustainability is not a destination, but rather a journey of constant improvement.
Carol Gran - This has become a buzzword and now means different things to different people. To me it means long term planning for sewer, water and refuse pick-up, for roads and parks and community amenities. Building small because it’s cheaper isn’t always the right answer, but building smarter is. TaxpayersFirst intends to initiate new, innovative ways to provide the best in recreation and culture as we will clearly show during this election campaign.
Tracy Gray - Sustainability to me refers to citizens of all ages being able to work, live and play in a vibrant and healthy community with jobs, services and a quality of life that is enjoyed by our residents. 43% of our land is in the Agriculture Land Reserve and the beauty of our area is one of the reasons people live here. That being said, our agriculture and tourism businesses need to be viable. Having worked in the wine industry since 1989 and for 10 wineries in my career, I have seen the challenges in agriculture and with regulations that can stifle opportunities. We need to work with all levels of government to ensure we have viable agriculture sectors. Sustainability also means we have a good balance between people of all ages in our community.
Charlie Hodge - I have dealt with sustainability issues now for 20 years in both my previous council experience as well as years of environmental planning and lobbying. Kelowna must continue to protect ‘legitimate’ ALR land, support our farmers and orchardists, strongly encourage green technology (including solar and green roof technologies), advertise and promote ways to attract renewable resources, encourage a grow locally - 100 mile diet concept, community gardens, and create incentives for the hiring of local experts and professionals on projects or providing of services and goods rather than looking out of the Valley.
Beryl Itani - It means that we can sustain the population we have with the amenities that we have. Once again, if we are to grow as a vibrant community we need to make sure that we have police, fire, ambulance to sustain the population and that there are jobs for all that we need.
Graeme James - Sustainability means thoughtful, well-planned development which includes long-range planning for affordable housing, sewer, drinking water, road, parks, and recreation and cultural amenities. Sustainability means spending within our means while retaining a level of services Kelowna has come to expect.
Leslie Kendall - Sustainability means just the right mix. The right mix of business, residential of all kinds, parks, entertainment, good transportation throughout the city and air transportation to other destinations. The main component to enable a city to maintain itself includes water and sewer infrastructure. As all of these and others are essential to the structure of a city, I believe obtaining the best information available and planning are the most important for the benefit of the citizens.
Bobby Kennedy - Sustainably is very important especially when being talked about hand in hand with rapid growth like ours. It is absolutely crucial we protect our waterfront and lakes as well as preserve our ALR. I feel that keeping this top of mind in development matters is key and that providing our citizens with parks and rec they will continue to reap the rewards and also push for sustainability.
Mike McLoughlin - Sustainability is about preserving the livability of our community for future generations. In many way Kelowna is already a sustainable City. We believe an area for improvement is Food Security. We need to increase the number of community gardens in the city and provide incentives to developers to include a community garden in their development as an amenity. Also, City properties should be used to grow food instead of being allowed to lie fallow and vacant.
Gwen Miles - Sustainability is to grow or develop, without cause harm or taking away from our future generations. To actually HAVE a sustainable city, it takes the residents of the City to walk the talk. We currently have a transit bus system that could have more rider usage. I would love to look at the LRT system, thus giving riders a multitude of stops, and is much faster. We also like our wide open spaces where we live. Our own bit of land. To be sustainable we would need to build densely. Closer housing, and build up to conserve on the footprint of the building, heat, and fuel costs. Buy locally as much as possible. More local indoor markets would be great for everyone. When l state these needs, l include myself as well. I am speaking of WE as a whole.
Alan Monk - Sustainability means that the benefits of going forward with any project or development must be sufficient to exceed all the costs to the private interest as well as the broader public interest in the short and long term. As Councillor, I will be supporting such initiatives.
David Mossman - That word was taken from the environmental movement by corporations and is now such a common misused term…people talk about a sustainable building or road but really those things all need upkeep and other costs. Clean industry, transit efficiencies and encouraging green alternative energy use are all SMART choices that will benefit the community with modest impact.
Dale Olson - We must learn to build and develop this great City with means other than more and higher taxation. We need new creative sources of revenue to help make Kelowna the greatest small city in Canada, and the world! New sources of wealth will allow the sustainable, eco-friendly development and environment we all desire. We need innovation, vision and solutions at City Hall. TaxpayersFirst is about prudent fiscal management combined with creative visions for the future--actually bringing the methods not just the rhetoric to accomplish sustainable development in Kelowna. New sources of wealth will allow the fabulous luxury of sustainable, eco-friendly environment we all desire.
Brad Sieben - Sustainability must be kept top of mind in every decision that city council makes. Strategies must be focussed on “bringing it to the people” for widespread adoption. Making sustainable initiatives convenient and easy for the public to use allows for significant gains to be made. For example, the introduction of the curbside blue bin co-mingle recycling program made the process to recycle more convenient and cost effective for citizens. As a result, thousands of pounds of material has been diverted from our landfills. In my opinion, the below are other initiatives worthy of investigation:
Re-cycling - Investigation into the expansion of Kelowna’s recycling program to include additional items currently not part of curbside pick-up program investigation of curbside compost program available in other cities.
Water - Greater communication of water conservation practices and standards. Investigate, source and communicate information re: water conservation measures and water reducing devices for households
Mohini Singh - Sustainability to me means protecting and enhancing our environment and community, for now and the future. I would like Kelowna to remain as beautiful and green as possible while ensuring we think outside the box to find novel ideas to facilitate business opportunities. I propose that new developments must offer more space for outdoor activities and have high standards of environmental protection.
Derek Somer - Business is the sole keeper of sustainability. Current wages, salaries and taxation in Kelowna are not competitive with the Globalized World. We are not a competitive city.
Luke Stack - There are two key things the City can do: 1. Insure existing City buildings and vehicles meet the highest environmental standards for GHG emissions and sustainability. 2. Continue to promote town centre development. Each time a person relocates to the City town centres we become more sustainable. People tend to use less fuel, walk more, and have less need for new roads and infrastructure – in general a more healthy life style results. The City’s OCP encourages this type of growth through tax incentives. I will continue to support these initiatives.
Laura Thurnheer - Sustainability is an interesting term as it has evolved in meaning over the years. To me sustainability means more than green environmental sustainability. I have watched the definition of sustainability evolve to include economic and social sustainability and I believe this is more correct. I sit on a campus wide Sustainability Committee at Okanagan College and we are currently wrestling with making our campuses and our campus community sustainable. I believe that sustainability needs to include environmental, social and economic sustainability and that our municipal government needs to strive for excellence in all of these areas to make our city truly ‘sustainable’. Green environmental practices are important and need to be implemented into all the systems and processes of the City as it can be done in a cost effective manner. Social and economic sustainability, areas that are so critical to our quality of life, require a strong economy to support them. As a result, we need to focus on community economic development and business attraction and retention. As I have been saying all along in this campaign if the economy is doing well there is revenue that can freed up to support our Not-for-profit organizations, work on social issues, and implement green, environmental practices.
Sean Upshaw - Sustainability to me means the ability to sustain. We are definitely not that now. Wages must match housing, food and ancillary costs. Prosper Kelowna believes that it is everyone’s right to share in the Prosperity of this great place we call Kelowna. We need a paradigm shift to eliminate the “Sunshine Tax’ that prevails over our economy. The city must endeavor to educate and set the example of a living wage policy for all of Kelowna. By-Laws and policies that hinder this should be eliminated and simplification of procedure at City Hall will help eliminate the road blocks that detour outside investment in our city. Less government is most often a good thing. Allowing for other housing models such as Fee Simple Row housing will also bring about a measurement of sustainability. When built to economic standards, high-rises can also be a very sustainable form of housing, especially when built near core centers and transportation corridors. I would encourage the development of these types of projects.
Dayleen Van Ryswyk - The word “sustainable” is probably one of the most over used words of late. It’s used in nearly every context and has become more of a catch phrase. Sustainability obviously means to meet the needs of today, without compromising the needs of the future. So, my answer is exactly that. Every decision that is made in council to benefit the citizens today, needs to be made with the future Kelowna in mind. A great deal of fore thought and consideration for future needs is imperative. My vision of sustainable includes an element of being more environmental friendly as well.