Support for new fire hall likely reason firefighters endorse Shepherd for mayor
The Kelowna Professional Firefighters Association announced Tuesday they support Sharon Shepherd for mayor.
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November 04, 2014 - 4:29 PM
KELOWNA – Candidate for mayor Sharon Shepherd got an election endorsement from some of the most trusted life-savers in the city Tuesday.
The president of The Kelowna Professional Firefighters Association Dennis Miller said in a press release that working with Shepherd during her nine years as councillor and six as mayor has convinced the Association she is best qualified to ensure public safety remains a priority.
“We believe Sharon is the best candidate to continue improving public safety now and into the future,” Miller says in the release. “Sharon Shepherd has the experience, leadership, vision and common sense to continue moving Kelowna forward as we become the best, most beautiful mid-sized city in North America.”
Shepherd, who was also director of the Central Okanagan Regional District for 14 years, says her support for a fifth fire hall in Glenmore likely played a role in landing their endorsement.
“It’s a big issue for (the firefighters) but I think, for the community, it should be as well,” she says. “As development gets approved and increased in that area there could be an ‘at risk’ situation.”
Coun. Colin Basran, Shepherd’s toughest opponent, says he wasn’t surprised the firefighters supported her.
“They’ve always supported her in the past,” Basran says. “I’ve talked to a lot of firefighters who understand the union is supporting Sharon but they support me because I believe in a well-balanced community, which includes public safety.”
Basran says he too supports a fifth hall in the Glenmore area but the connection between Glenmore and UBCO should come first.
"It just doesn't make sense," he says. "You want that new fire hall to service Glenmore and UBCO. Once we push John Hindle Drive through we'll be able to make that happen."
Calls to the Kelowna Professional Firefighters Association were not returned.
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