Category Archives: Regional Districts
1. What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
The top priorities for a food secure Central Okanagan West are: better transportation infrastructure for access to markets in the northern part of the Area; encouragement of the residents of all of COW to grow as much food on their properties as possible given that this is a rural area with people busy working in the municipalities close by during the day; training within COW of those interested in agriculture both in raising foods and marketing of those foods in a fashion that would lead to more food production within the Central Okanagan West.
2. What are some ways you will support local farmers?
I do and will support local farmers by encouraging them to grow food crops on their properties, as well as looking to the future of an incubator training farm within COW in the northern end of the Area.
3. What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic.
Until the transportation infrastructure in the COW Area is improved, pedestrian and transit accessibility will be limited. As the “transportation infrastructure” noted in my answer in Question #1 is the responsibility of the Province (MOTI), I will continue to first work with the Province to improve that transportation infrastructure. As for vehicular traffic, and the marketing of product, I am and will continue to promote products produced through the Tourism work I am involved in on the Westside alongside the Westbank First Nations and West Kelowna. As for a “permanent farmers market”, I would encourage your group of citizens to come out and work with the residents of the Central Okanagan West to see what they would desire in this respect. I would welcome further input from those COW residents in this regard.
4. Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and / or bees in urban areas?
Changing regulations surrounding chickens and or bees in urban areas in the larger subdivisions within COW; changing regulations of any kind would come about if, and only if, there was support for those changes. People move to a rural area based on what they see happening in their area. If they move to a subdivision with small lots, they are not likely to want things which were not allowed to happen when they built their home. That being said, some of the subdivisions have bigger lots which would perhaps allow the growing of such products without disturbing neighbors. If that were the case, I would encourage people with those larger lots to explore raising products such as these and would help them explore what regulations (if any) which may need to be changed to accommodate doing this.
In addition, I have been and will continue to be a very strong supporter of the newly proposed incubator farm in the Fintry Provincial Park, providing that the concerns of the neighboring subdivision are addressed. This farm would not only provide organic and heritage products, it would provide training for future agricultural people plus provide a tourist draw for the area, which would lead to a much better argument for better transportation infrastructure for COW.
5. How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
As for anything in this very rural area, when I see a desire by the residents of COW to do anything which will benefit the Central Okanagan West as a whole, I will gather all the facts and information and wherever possible work to build community solutions and to champion those solutions which will serve the communities of COW well. I would encourage groups like yours to come out to this rural area and work with people out here in this regard. That way you can come out to the country, learn the realities of what exists out in this area, and work with those out here to see what can be done in this regard. As you do this, you and those local residents will be supported by me as all the facts and information are brought forward so that I can champion whatever viable solutions are brought forward.