The Environment

Expand recycling programs - encourage water and land conservation measures.

Integrated Neighbourhoods

Zoning is an important tool that will encourage integration.

Housing Affordability

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

Expand and improve Public Spaces

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

Water

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

Inclusive Community

Welcome diversity and celebrate our differences

Arts & Culture

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

Transportation

Promote a Bicycle culture and improved Public Transit

2014 Pleasantvale Sod Turning Dec 15

Dec 15, 2014 was a grand sunny winter day to celebrate the sod turning of Pleasantvale. This new development replaces 50 units of senior's housing and adds 20 new family town homes to the north-end of Kelowna. It is a beautiful location at the foot of Knox Mountain. There are many partners in this project. Dignitaries included Premier Clark representing the Province of BC and the staff of BC Housing; Mayor Basran representing the fine work of the staff of the City of Kelowna; MP Ron Cannan representing the Federal Government; Catherine Comden representing the Rotary and the Pleasantvale Homes Society and President Lorne Gerber representing the Society of Hope (Hope is the developer of the new site and future operator.) The project is now fully underway with a target completion date of February 2016. Thanks to all for the dedication to bring this project forward. It took 5 years of hard work, deal making and problem solving to reach this Sod Turning event.  

 

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2015 Council Chamber 0015

With the start of a new Council term, the Mayor assigns seating to each Council member. Mayor Basran asked if I would sit in Robert Hobson's vacated seat. I was pleased and honored to accept this offer. Robert sat in this seat for as long as I can remember. He served on Kelowna City Council for 26 years. As a trained city planner, and local historian, his knowledge and experience was unsurpassed. No one can replace Robert. My commitment is simply to do my best to serve the citizens of our City in my third term. 

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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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