Packed house for Kamloops all candidates forum - InfoNews

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Packed house for Kamloops all candidates forum

Nearly all the mayoral and councillor candidates showed up to answer questions from the public at the Campus Activity Centre at Thompson Rivers University, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
October 16, 2018 - 11:02 AM

KAMLOOPS - Community engagement and how to better serve all areas of Kamloops were focus points of discussion at a municipal election all candidates forum last night.

Kamloops mayoral and councillor candidates answered questions from roughly 450 audience members at the forum hosted by Kamloops This Week yesterday, Oct. 15, at Thompson Rivers University.

All but two candidates — Shawn Harnett and incumbent Ray Dhaliwal — showed up last night. 

Candidates were asked about their thoughts on a ward system and if they would agree to implement one in the city.

Dale Bass, a councillor candidate and retired newspaper reporter, supports a ward system.

"I think we have to start the conversation now to plan for it," Bass says. 

Bass says the biggest complaint she's heard over the years was that a ward system would cause hostility between councillors.

"Look at the school district, they represent what could be called wards, they come together, they know what the mandate of the school district is, they adhere to it, they force it and they follow it," she says. "Another reason I like it, if you have a smaller area you're running in, you don't need to spend a small fortune that you do city wide to run, so more people could possibly get involved."

Roughly 450  people showed up at an all candidates forum held at Thompson River University Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
Roughly 450 people showed up at an all candidates forum held at Thompson River University Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

Candidates were asked their thoughts on community engagement and how to better serve outlying neighbourhoods such as Barnhartvale or Rayleigh.

Sadie Hunter, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2017 byelection, says if elected she would like to see more city-planned events in more areas outside of the downtown core.

"I think it would open the door to people exploring neighbourhoods that they don't go to very often just to get to know their neighbours and parts of the community they are not exposed to," Hunter says. "I would also go as far to say to promote city council meetings offsite and have them in different parts of the city... I think it's really important to open access for people who may not want to go to city hall... there are some innovative things we could start doing just to increase community engagement and bring the community together."

Incumbent councillor Kathy Sinclair, who was elected in the 2017 byelection, says she would like to see more densification in neighbourhoods across the city.

"Making sure our neighbourhoods are more filled with people instead of so many single-family homes," Sinclair says. "Secondary suites is one really quick win of a way of building density, where you already had a house with one family in it and suddenly you have a house with two families in it."

Sinclair brought forward a motion about secondary suites back in July which is expected to return back to council in the first quarter of 2019.

To get caught up on the Kamloops municipal election go here.

General voting day is this Saturday, Oct. 20.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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