Tag Archives: mayor
What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
The Agricultural Land Reserve plays a significant role in preserving quality farm land. I support the ALR but believe it needs to be reviewed after 38 years in place. Many farmers have told me some of the restrictions within the ALR are outdated. Often the effect is to prohibit the potential development of poor-quality soils or steep terrains which can make the difference between an orchardist staying afloat with more productive land or being forced to exit the business. It’s time we consider including an appeal process in the ALR framework. The COFPC policy with respect to gleaners is an interesting concept and further exploration of its potential is certainly warranted.
What are some ways you will support local farmers?
Food procurement at City Hall and other city-run facilities should, wherever possible, be carried out with regard to the “100 Mile Diet”. The Okanagan should be as much a mecca for “foodies” as it is for wine fanciers. We already have public art depicting apples and orchards situated throughout the city. I would encourage more that reinforces the important role of growers in the local economy. City events should honour the early pioneers in orchards and cattle ranching who figured significantly in the development of the Okanagan region. Opportunities to promote agri-tourism, which is currently helping many farmers maintain their viability, should be explored by the City.
What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic.
I encourage the City to work with the Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Society to look at a permanent market site, possibly on lands directly south of the current location. We already have the main market opposite Orchard Park operating from April to October and one indoors at the Parkinson Recreation Centre from November to March. Perhaps during peak tourism months or on long weekends, we should consider a “food festival” at Stuart Park geared to promoting and selling local food to tourists. Of course, KFCS would not want it to clash with the regular market.
Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and bees in urban areas?
I would not support regulations opening up the entire city to urban agriculture, as the potential impact on neighbors and the environment needs to be considered. In certain areas with larger residential lots, such practices may make sense.
How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
Community gardens are growing in popularity. Many multi-use sports facilities already encompass them and I would encourage such undertakings in other publicly accessible locations, again where considerations of natural habitats and proximity to residential areas do not discourage their development.
1. What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
To support the concept of the 100 mile diet; encourage organic farming and food production methods; understand and respond constructively to the needs of local food producers; and support the work of the Agricultural Land Commission.
2. What are some ways you will support local farmers?
We are prohibited by law from providing financial assistance, however each of actions identified above can be of benefit. Supporting a Farmers’ Market is another method for helping.
3. What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic.
We have actively supported the local Peachland Farmers Market by making space available and by securing parking spaces for the participants. The market seems to work best as a summer seasonal event, but if the demand is there to expand the window then it is something additional to consider.
4. Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and / or bees in urban areas?
That is not an issue that has come to our Council for review. If it did, I would want to be better informed than I am currently about the issues involved and the implications of changing the regulations before taking a position.
5. How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
By supporting the functionality of existing community gardens and by being willing to champion initiatives that will support the provision of safe local food production.
- 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.