iN RESPONSE: Readers have their say | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN RESPONSE: Readers have their say

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Following are emailed reader responses to stories or letters to the editor for the third week of May 2024. They have been edited slightly for readability. 

Got something you want to add? Send an email to editor Marshall Jones at


The province tried to fix Kelowna's Harvey Avenue traffic; it didn't go well

"Build a few cloverleafs and eliminate the lights. Done." — Stacy Petty


Kamloops man designs innovative, award-winning housing model for addiction recovery

"Very impressive and what really needs to happen. However, convincing the province and municipalities that proactive spending is a better solution than reactive will be the challenge." — Paul Berry


Another BC nurse suspended for snooping on medical records

"Is this mostly done by foreign nurses,? Maybe when hiring this is something they need to sign off when hired." — Dee Dot Link

"Hm, well the government does the same thing." — Shiree Sherriden

"Time off with pay, that is their punishment. What a joke." — Kim Insley


BC transwoman scores minor human rights victory against Ministry of Health

"I'm sorry but this is fighting for the sake of fighting. In the end KW got the procedure in Montreal and as such had KW not fought over and over to get a free taxpayer paid trip overseas to get it done it would have been done and dusted without issue. Fight real fights not this me me me garbage." — Dick Dawson


To editor -,

Section 19 of the City of Kelowna's Council Code of Conduct states:
"A Council Member who is running for nomination or is a nominee for elected office outside of a local government election will not represent Council on internal or external committees, task forces, or agencies. The Mayor may appoint another Council Member to represent Council until after general voting day of that election."

I've learned the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) is not deemed an external committee.

The Code of Conduct was developed through a series of reports to council beginning in March, 2023. One can find the earlier reports and associated attachments and presentations here: March 13, 2023 - Item 3.1 and here: June 5, 2023 - Item 3.1.

The distinction between committees, task forces, agencies and the regional district board was discussed during former Kelowna city clerk Stephen Fleming's presentation on Sept. 11/23, just before council adopted the code. One can watch the video by clicking on item 5.5 in the agenda, and pressing play on the video popup: (1:45:00 mark).

Fleming: “We expect that the Code of Conduct, should it be adopted, will evolve and change as it’s interpreted and used anyway, and so we don’t see this as a static document over time, but one that will change and sort of be amended as it is used. …. Notice on the Leave of Absence, in particular Section 20, [now Sections 17-19] talking about leave of absences should a member of council choose to run for a nomination for an MLA. The section that talks about stepping aside from committees and task forces, does not apply to the regional district board. The regional district board is a bit of a different statutory beast, if I can put it that way, and with city council having the number of required seats on it, and a need for alternates, it wasn’t felt that that would be something that should fit into the policy should anyone choose to find themselves in that situation.”

At the May 13/24 afternoon council meeting, Coun. Ron Cannan asked for clarification that Coun. Wooldridge can still keep his seat on the RDCO board (2:36:21 mark).

Ron Cannan: “… My understanding, and once again through the city manager, through yourself [Mayor] it’s because it’s a vote of council that the regional board is not deemed an external committee. Is that correct?”

Mayor Tom Dyas: “Laura, do you want to take that?”

Laura Bentley (City Clerk): "That’s correct, Your Worship. The regional board appointments are made by resolution of council, and it’s a statutory obligation of council, and so the Code of Conduct does not essentially limit that statutory responsibility of council. The reference to external committees, task forces or agencies is essentially other committees of council or other agencies that members of council may be appointed to by the mayor. ….Your Worship, the provisions around a leave of absence were written sort of recognizing what responsibilities of individual members of council and what the responsibility is of council as a whole, and so without limiting that decision of council in terms of a council resolution for appointments to the board, that’s how it’s addressed through the code."

Cannan then asked what if council in the future wanted to identify the regional district board as one of the committees that a councillor wasn't allowed to be on (if also a candidate for a political party).

Laura Bentley: "Your Worship, that would sit separate from the Code of Conduct, and so it's a decision of council but not covered through the code. It would be sort of a decision at a particular point in time."

From Sept. 11/23 until the present, why haven't any councillors ever put forward a motion — separate from the Code of Conduct — stating that a councillor would have to step down from the regional board if becoming a candidate for a political party?

I also wonder when any members of council and city staff first learned Coun. Wooldridge was considering putting his name forward as a potential candidate for *any* political party.

In 2019, the previous council, led by former Mayor Colin Basan, discussed the topic of Council Code of Conduct Policy at its 9:00 am Regular Council Meeting (June 17/19): Item 3.2.

Before that, as early as 2017, the topic of Code of Conduct was being discussed. For example, from the minutes of the Oct. 2/17 afternoon Regular Council Meeting: Mayor Basran "Provided kudos to Councillor Given and staff for the Code of Conduct Resolution adopted at UBCM."

A loophole is a technicality that gives someone the chance to avoid having to do something, without violating a policy, law, bylaw, or piece of legislation.

To those who follow Kelowna municipal politics closely, do you think "loophole" applies here? If yes, why? If no, why not?

David Buckna — Kelowna

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