Sparring between Kelowna mayoral candidates continues | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sparring between Kelowna mayoral candidates continues

Tom Dyas (left) and Mayor Colin Basran at the Oct. 4 Chamber of Commerce forum.

While the focus of the last Kelowna mayor’s forum before Saturday’s election was on housing, the stronger conflict between the two frontrunners was trust.

During the almost two-hour session today, Oct. 13, there was lots of discussion about affordability and things of interest to homebuilders like zoning and development costs.

That's because the forum was that was sponsored by the Canadian Homebuilders’ Association.

While responses showed some differences in policy between Mayor Colin Basran and his chief rival Tom Dyas, the core of the issue on who to trust as the city’s next mayor came down to squabbles about meetings that did or did not happen.

Dyas also touched on whether Basran can be trusted to serve the full four-year term if he’s elected.

The sniping started after Dyas said he would put together a housing summit made up of developers, realtors and others, including mayors from throughout the Okanagan.

“Mayors of Penticton, Vernon and West Kelowna, along with myself, meet quarterly,” Basran pointed out. “Those meetings absolutely take place and we always look at ways we can collaborate as a region.”

That was quickly challenged by Dyas.

“I took a drive across the bridge and went over and spoke with (West Kelowna Mayor) Gord Milsom and he had a totally different opinion than what was just said,” Dyas said.

It took Basran only seconds to fire back.

“It’s called the Intermunicipal Mayor’s Group and we meet quarterly,” he said. “I’m not sure how he can say those meetings didn’t take place. I can show you the minutes. They, in fact, actually happened.”

Dyas did not have an opportunity to answer back but, later in the forum, he talked about a meeting he had with “all of the cab companies – the cab members” in Kelowna yesterday, of which there are more than 300, he said.

“They had mentioned to me that they haven’t been able to have a meeting with City Hall in a number of years,” Dyas said. “According to them, they said it was four years.”

Again, Basran took umbrage.

“To say we haven’t met with the cab companies is completely false,” he said. “That’s simply not true. Neither is it true that Kelowna is the crime capital of Canada. It is not.”

The crime comment goes back to the Oct. 4 forum sponsored by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce where the two men threw crime statistics back and forth that confused the true picture of crime in the city.

Dyas, at that time, claimed Kelowna is the crime capital of Canada and restated that again today.

READ MORE: Which Kelowna mayoralty candidate is telling you the truth about crime and taxes?

Also at the Chamber forum, moderator Chris Walker pointed out that there is possibly going to be a fourth provincial electoral riding in the city for the next election, which has to be called no later than Oct. 19, 2024.

He asked Basran if he would commit to serving his full four-year term if he is re-elected.

“Great question,” Basran answered. “Scandal! I think my track record speaks for itself. I get asked this question every time I run for office. I’ve been, now, representing you on city council – either as a councillor or as mayor – for the past 11 years. I think I’ve proven myself to the commitment of serving entire terms as your mayor and that’s something I would absolutely love to do moving forward, if elected. I love being mayor. I love this city.”

At that time, Dyas obviously took that as a maybe, commenting “you can’t have one foot in and one foot out – you need to basically have two feet into this job solid.”

He harped back to that message to close today’s forum.

“We need someone committed to these challenges on a full time basis,” Dyas said. “We can’t have one foot in and one foot out in the mayor's position.”

READ MORE: Basran booed at Chamber of Commerce mayoral forum

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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