Category Archives: West Kelowna
- What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
District of West Kelowna has recently completed and adopted a forward thinking Agricultural Plan to guide Council and staff in policy and practise for the coming years. This plan addresses food security issues on a comprehensive basis and I suggest you may wish review it at: http://www.districtofwestkelowna.ca/index.aspx?page=346 . I am a strong supporter of this plan and as incumbent Mayor I would ensure it is implemented.
- What are some ways you will support local farmers?
See question #1. The Plan which I am committed to addresses this.
- What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic.
Both the Agricultural Plan and the Westbank Centre Revitalization Plan (also recently adopted and view at: http://www.districtofwestkelowna.ca/index.aspx?page=334 ) include the plan for a Farmer Market in the Westbank Centre area as we go forward. This Market would be resourced by the municipality to the extent necessary. Currently the summer Farmer’s Market is supported by Westbank Lions, Historic Westbank and Farmers and does well. I strongly support this initiative.
- Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and / or bees in urban areas?
No, the current situation works well. In four years on Council I have received only ONE request for a bylaw change to permit hens in residential areas. It would introduce additional conflict between neighbours and also with wildlife. Our Bylaw Department currently spends many hours sorting out neighbour to neighbour conflicts. As well, West Kelowna is a wildland interface area and there are already concerns about coyotes, cougars and bears interacting with neighbourhoods.
- How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
West Kelowna since its inception has implemented three new Community Gardens – Westbank Town Centre Park, Rose Valley, and Shannon Woods. I strongly support this initiative as well as funding for the CO Community Garden Society. We need more of this.
1. What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
Preservation of farmland, minimizing incursions and conflicts with urban growth, access to an affordable water supply and finding ways to encourage young people to get involved in agriculture.
2. What are some ways you will support local farmers?
I have served for the last three years as one of our Regional District’s representatives on the Sterile Insect Release Board and strongly support their work, we can continue deliver land use decisions that support agriculture and we can work to help nuture famers. We have established an Agriculture Advisory Committee to help guide Council on these kinds of decisions.
3. What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic?
Our District considers agriculture to be a priority and, despite being less than four hears old we have already completed a detailed Agriculture Plan with extensive industry and public consultation. Among the many innovative recomendations in our plan is a goal to find a location for a permanent farmers market which will enhance opportunities available to local farmers. A central, accessible location is key to the success of this initiative.
4. Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and / or bees in urban areas?
We are fortunate in our District to have many properties where small scale agriculture is already happening or is possible. In my own neighbourhood we have a very successful farmgate market and at least one bee-keeper from whom we are able to purchase our food.
5. How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
I am very proud that we have already supported three community gardens in our community (as a volunteer worker as well) and our Agriculture Plan has a goal to continue to work on more of these in other neighbourhoods. Getting more local production into schools is not something we have worked on very much but we can – perhaps this is something we can consider in the context of other initiatives we are working on with the School Board.