The City of West Kelowna spent much of its time at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver lobbying provincial ministers for "vital and long-overdue investments" in the community.
Mayor Gord Milsom, a number of councillors and city officials met with Premier David Eby seeking increased investment in the city as well as advocating for a number of top priority issues, including:
- Investments in all housing types
- Reducing the timeline to provide power redundancy
- Increasing healthcare services and facilities
- Addressing the deficit of provincially-funded RCMP members
- Addressing Highway 97 corridor improvements
Officials also voiced concerns over a lack of ongoing investments during meetings with nine provincial ministers over the week.
They voiced concerns over a lack of investments in housing, a lack of mental health and addiction facilities, a continued deficit of eight provincially funded RCMP members and the need to increase wildfire prevention, management and recovery funding.
Delegations from surrounding communities of Peachland, Westbank First Nation and the RDCO also joined in conversations with the minister of Energy over the lack of progress in providing a redundant source of power to the greater Westside area.
"As part of our 2022/2026 strategic priorities, our council escalated our advocacy with the B.C. government to address the lack of appropriate provincial investments that are desperately needed across the greater Westside," said Milsom.
"West Kelowna is the youngest city and the third largest by population in the Okanagan, yet provincial investments remain either absent or progress remains extremely slow. This simply must change.
"The B.C. government clearly heard from our council and from our good neighbours that our governments are united and will remain vigilant to receive the long-overdue provincial investments that come with rapid growth.
"West Kelowna has come to the table to support our growing community but we must have, and we expect, the B.C. government to do the same."
Milsom says he was encouraged with meetings with Eby and provincial cabinet ministers and hopes to see some "rapid results."