Inclusive Community

Welcome diversity and celebrate our differences

Water

This precious water resources we have need to be monitored, protected and managed carefully.

Housing Affordability

A good community must have a variety of housing options for its citizens.

Arts & Culture

Healthy communities include public access to the arts, culture and community events.

Integrated Neighbourhoods

Zoning is an important tool that will encourage integration.

Transportation

Promote a Bicycle culture and improved Public Transit

Expand and improve Public Spaces

Promote the expansion of public markets, “people places,” shopping hubs, parks and recreational facilities.

The Environment

Expand recycling programs - encourage water and land conservation measures.

Local News posted November 10, 2014 by  Cassandra Jeffery

Friendships were solidified, tears were shed, and memories were created at the final City of Kelowna Council Meeting for this council term.

Recounting moments of significant pride and rendering nostalgia from the last three years, the eight councillors and mayor Walter Gray took some time at the end of Monday's council meeting to comment on the success and woes of council and to provide some helpful advice for the council term to come.

“More than anything, I will take away the friendships I have with all of you. I've learned so much from all of you, and regardless of what happens on Saturday we are lifelong friends and will always be bonded as a result of this amazing experience. It's been an honour to serve with you and I will cherish this. If this is the only three years I get on council, I'm so proud of what we've accomplished,” said councillor Colin Basran.

Words of wisdom were shared by retiring council members and much praise was given to mayor Gray for his leadership and poise throughout his four terms as mayor and two terms as a councillor.

Phot Credit: Amatjit Lalli20141110 Last picture

Retiring councillor Robert Hobson shared his final words to council, reminding those who will serve next that it's important to remain true to their convictions and represent the entire City of Kelowna.

“Remember to take the long view, and pledge like the ancient councillors of Athens, to leave your city more beautifully than you found it. Always making decisions not with your head alone, but with your heart also,” added Hobson.

Walter Gray concluded the council meeting with his bitter-sweet “swan song,” congratulating the accomplishments council has made in this past term and offering council with his recommendations for the future council as he graciously bows out of office.

“An effective and deserving council is not just about bricks, water, and pavement, pathways, and bridges, but its also about promoting efficiency at city hall and knowing how to do business, giving value to every tax dollar spent,” added Gray.

Mayor Walter Gray encourages council to keep the social well-being of citizens at the heart of decision making. Gray holds the future of Kelowna with high regard and he is confident in the future council's capacity to propel the City of Kelowna into the future.

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Local News posted November 7, 2014 by  Stacy Penner

(I attended this as Deputy Mayor of Kelowna and Director of the Central Okanagan Regional District - a beautiful afternoon to help protect my favorite wetland)

Environment Canada is funding two years of wetland restoration and rehabilitation in the Okanagan.

Together, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) announced $100,000 funded by Environment Canada for Phase 2 of the Okanagan Wetlands Strategy and significant work by the ONA.

Phase 1 was focused on data collected, public outreach, prioritization, and mapping Okanagan wetlands, but Phase 2 is taking a more hands-on approach. In Phase 2, organizers are planning to complete six different projects, with three finished by March 31, 2015 and the other three by March 31, 2016.

Fascieux Creek Wetland, the site for the major wetlands announcement. (Photo Credit: KelownaNow)

Environment Canada has given OBWB $50,000 for the two-year project management, and another $50,000 was given to ONA for both ONA-specific wetland projects and projects in collaboration with OBWB. Some of the work by the ONA will involve supporting the Western Painted Turtle on the Penticton Indian Reserve near Penticton's airport.

“The Okanagan People have a strong relationship with the water,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger. “Protecting and enhancing wetlands is vital to maintaining that relationship. This project is part of the larger water strategy for the Nation and it is through partnerships like this and collaboration that we will continue to move forward to ensure there is water for tomorrow.”

“Wetlands, once considered a nuisance and a waste of valuable land, are an important part of our community," said OBWB Chair Doug Findlater. More than 85 per cent of the Okanagan's wetlands and natural riparian areas are no longer there and other areas are still at risk.

The team behind the wetlands projects: L to R Chief Jonathan Kruger, Project Manager Jillian Tamblyn, Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan,OBWB Water Stewardship Director Nelson Jatel, and West Kelowna mayor/OBWB Chair Doug Findlater. (Photo Credit: KelownaNow)

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2014 Open for business Oct  31 054 2

 L-R: Minister Norm Letmick; Coun. Andre Blanleil; Coun. Max Dehart; Coun. Gail Given; Premier Christy Clark; Coun. Luke Stack; Coun. Mohini Singh; Mayor Walter Gray; Minister Steve Thomson and Coun. Gerry Zimmerman

For an unprecedented second year in a row, Kelowna has received the province’s Open For Business Award.

The B.C. Small Business Roundtable’s Open for Business Awards were presented Wednesday evening during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual convention in Whistler.

“Open for Business is an attitude that permeates our entire organization,” said Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray. “Winning this Award for a second year in a row demonstrates the Kelowna Advantage and is a testament to the positive attitude and high standard of service by valued team players at the City of Kelowna. Management and staff truly deserve this recognition.” said Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray in accepting the Award.

As a community where 94 per cent of businesses have fewer than 20 employees, the City of Kelowna has adapted and streamlined services to ensure entrepreneurs receive prompt service and advice on technical and licensing matters.

For example, the City partnered with the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services earlier this year to make the process of setting up a new business easier than ever. Under the ministry’s OneStop Business Registry service for entrepreneurs registering a new business, they can now also complete a City of Kelowna Business Licence at the same time.

“The City of Kelowna is truly blessed with such great partners including the Economic Development Commission, Tourism Kelowna, the Kelowna Chamber, our Business Improvement Areas, Accelerate Okanagan, as well as our business service providers such as the Women’s Enterprise Centre and Community Futures,” said Jim Paterson, Kelowna’s Executive Director of Business Development. “It is the Team Kelowna partnership and our collective action that demonstrates the Kelowna Advantage.”

This year’s other recipients are Grand Forks, City of Langley, Parksville, Port Coquitlam, Salmon Arm, Smithers, Surrey and Vernon. The award also comes with $10,000 as an incentive to further promote an open-for-business culture.

“Communities across our province can look to the winners for best practices and help make B.C. the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada,” Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto said in a statement at the presentation ceremony.

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Council gets a passing grade

As Kelowna's current council gets ready to leave office, it will get a chance to see how much of a dent was made in its three year priority list.

A report card outlining the progress of council's top nine priorities, struck after it was elected in 2012, shows all nine have either been complete or are in the process of being complete.

Of those nine priorities, three are complete while significant progress has been made on three others.

These include:

  • Mobile Service Requests - Complete
  • Pandosy Waterfront Plan - Complete
  • Technology Centre - Complete
  • Waterfront development - Significant
  • Increased focus on economic development activities - Significant
  • Rutland Town Centre revitalization (Our Rutland) - Significant
  • New park strategy - In progress
  • Tourism Centre - In progress
  • One stop community services - Preliminary

Several priorities set out for 2014 have also been complete, including:

  • Bernard Avenue Revitalization - Complete
  • John Hindle Drive design - Complete
  • Phase 1 of Gordon Drive Frequent Transit Network - Complete
  • Downtown Interior Health Authority building - Complete
  • City-wide Parking Management Strategy - Complete
  • Police Services Building project - Significant
  • Protect the Canadian National Railway corridor - Significant
  • Central Green land sale - Significant
  • Cycling & Pedestrian Master Plan - public consultation - In progress

Much of the effort in this term focused on building on momentum created through previous Councils, completing progressive and well-considered plans for the future and beginning the process of establishing
the foundation for major projects to be completed in future years.

 

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luke-stack-headlines-speak-of-city-optimism

Luke Stack to continue community-building work in his third term on Kelowna City Council

Kelowna, BC – Holding up Sunday’s newspaper, Kelowna City Councillor Luke Stack vowed to continue his work to build strong neighbourhoods as he kicked off his 2014 re-election campaign.

“Sunday’s headlines speak of Kelowna’s optimism,” says Stack, who is running for his third term on City Council. “The City of Kelowna needs steady, healthy growth but first and foremost, a city is a community. Sunday’s headlines show the quality of life we’re building here in Kelowna.”

Stack read out the headlines to his campaign team: Kids camp renovated by army of volunteers, Drive restocks local food banks, Fun run raises $75,000 for hospital equipment, Cancer fundraiser combines fun, food, wine. “This is the kind of city I want to live in,” he said.

Stack released his full platform on his website, lukestack.com, with an emphasis on revitalized town centres, public spaces, affordable housing and improved public transit and an expanded bike network.

An avid cyclist, Stack is a strong proponent for off-road bicycle pathways. His goal is a loop of bicycle paths linking all major hubs of the city, with the next key phase being along Dilworth Drive to link Rails with Trails to the Mission Park Greenway. He also has a keen interest in securing the CN rail corridor for a 48-kilometre off-road trail to Vernon.

Stack was first elected to City Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. He serves as the executive director for the Society of Hope. Since its inception in 1989, the Society has grown to become the largest non-profit housing provider in the Interior of B. C.

“This current City Council worked well together and has made significant progress on the Pandosy waterfront, completing the Bernard Avenue revitalization, launching a new public pier off Queensway, completing the new Senior’s Centre at Parkinson Recreation Centre and simplifying secondary suite approvals,” says Stack. “Continued co-operation at the Council level will ensure an optimistic future for Kelowna.”

The Kelowna municipal election is set for November 15.

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