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Kamloops News

Homeless concern a city survey surprise

Arjun Singh.

KAMLOOPS - Nearly 200 people responded and more than 60 per cent say they love Kamloops because of the weather or recreation, but it was the responses on what the city could do better that offered a bit of surprise to Coun. Arjun Singh.

Singh put out the survey as a way to gauge the biggest concerns in Kamloops and to help form his campaign platform as he seeks re-election. He says the survey did have some impact on his platform.

“The survey had some significant impacts on my platform (though) mostly it was confirming stuff I already said last time,” Singh says. “There seems to be more concern around the homeless and trying to help them with housing and mental health help.”

This last piece came as a bit of a surprise to Singh but he sees the survey as a good indicator of what the people of Kamloops want to see and plans on adjusting his vision accordingly. Following the 20-minute July storm that caused more than $2 million damage to city infrastructure, his main campaign emphasis will remain on climate action though.

The top issues in Kamloops, according to respondents, include the proposed Ajax Mine, taxes and city spending, jobs, transportation and mental health. Family doctors, a performing arts centre and air quality were also noted as top issues.

People were asked on the survey what they liked about Kamloops, and the top responses were outdoor recreation, size, people and weather. The areas they believe need work are homelessness, mental health, alternative transportation, downtown parking and jobs.

In another trend, respondents tended to believe some city council members have personal agendas but are generally committed and hard working — though they can also be too conservative or complacent at times.

The Kamloops Voters Society is also conducting a survey to get a better feel for what the main issues are for this civic election. The survey ends Oct. 15 and then candidates will be asked to address the top concerns. Those results will be made public by Oct. 20.

Kamloops will elect one mayor, eight councillors and five school trustees on Nov. 15. In total four candidates filed nomination papers for the role of mayor, 28 for city councillor and 15 for school trustee.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723.

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