Kamloops mayoral candidate Glenn Hilke feels affordable housing top issue - InfoNews

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Kamloops mayoral candidate Glenn Hilke feels affordable housing top issue

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Glenn Hilke
August 28, 2017 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Glenn Hilke is one of six candidates vying for the mayor's job in Kamloops and he believes his years of making connections through volunteering in the community make him the right man for the job.

Hilke, 64, says he moved to Kamloops about five years ago with his family and has been finding ways to help the community ever since.

"My volunteering took the shape of working with people living on fixed incomes," he says. "Seniors, people with disabilities, and the homeless. It's been a constant for all the five years I've been here doing full time volunteering."

Hilke says those experiences have also given him knowledge about food security, urban agriculture and affordable housing. In all, he has spent about 40 years working in the non-profit sector.

He has never held a political position and this is his second run at winning a seat in Kamloops as his name was on the ballot for a council position in the last general election. He feels that failed attempt at politics was a great teaching experience and he is even more prepared this time around.

"I've gathered a lot more contacts and knowledge about the city experience," he says. "I've made relationships with the present city councillors and the former mayor as well as provincial representatives and senior bureaucrats in various departments of our city administration. I am much more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the city."

Unlike most candidates in the byelection, Hilke does not feel that the KGHM Ajax mine proposal is the biggest issue Kamloops is facing right now. He is focusing his campaign on social issues like safe streets and homelessness.

"We have an affordable housing crisis here," he says. "There's zero inventory and I'm not just talking about for people on fixed incomes, social assistance or the homeless. Working class families are having a lot of difficulty."

Hilke points to out of town students and investors being among those responsible for a lack of affordable rental housing in Kamloops. He also feels the City's current council has not been doing enough to fix the issue.

"With the present administration, and we can go back a decade, there has always been talk about affordable housing," he says. "These guys are just talking and talking an no plans of action are being put in place. These issues are actually more critical and on peoples minds more than the mine."

Hilke joins Ken Christian, Stu Holland, Mike McKenzie, Todd McLeod,and Bill McQuarrie in the race to be the next mayor of Kamloops. There are 22 candidates trying to pick up two open council seats.

The 2017 Kamloops byelection will be held on Saturday, Sept. 30. For more information go the City's website.

Find past stories on 2017 Kamloops byelection here.


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