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Tom Dyas: Province's sweeping legislative changes having immense effect on Kelowna

<who> Photo credit: Michael Hintringer

Your monthly update from Mayor Dyas on Council decisions, City business and more.


Avenues of access – Connecting with your City

The past few months have seen immense change affecting countless municipalities due to the new sweeping legislative changes happening at the provincial level. As council, we’ve witnessed and heard from residents that have become increasingly concerned about how the City will navigate these changes, all of which have significant impacts on our community.

One specific concern, which centres on communicating with the City, is the prohibition of public hearings for rezonings if the development proposal is in alignment with the City’s Official Community Plan.

This is a valid and understandable concern. For Council, transparency and accountability are cornerstones for how we make decisions, and it is important that Kelowna’s residents are not only informed, but also have a multitude of channels to have their voices heard. It is necessary that every resident have access to information and have the opportunity, through a variety of channels, to share their opinions, ideas and feedback.

Although public hearings will no longer include routine rezoning applications, this form of engagement only represents a small fraction of the ways citizens engage with us and City staff. We welcome ideas, concerns and feedback as it helps shape the decisions that impact our city's future.

Get all the information you need in real-time

The City's website, Kelowna.ca, is a central hub of information, resources, news, events and more. From accessing important documents like the Official Community Plan to learning about upcoming events and initiatives, the website is a constantly updated wealth of information for residents, businesses and visitors to the area. In 2023 the site garnered over 8.7 million page views, a number that continues to grow year over year.

<who> Photo credit: City of Kelowna

To enhance citizens’ experience on our website, we are harnessing the power of technology and AI to make it easier for you to find the information you need. Whether you have questions about city services, event schedules, or municipal regulations, our virtual assistants are available 24/7 to provide prompt and helpful responses in real time.

Let us know about an issue, ask a question, or report a concern

The City has an online service request portal to make it easier for citizens to request city services when it’s most convenient for you. You can find it on the Kelowna.ca homepage right below the main image banner. This makes creating service request a convenient and quick solution and allows appropriate staff and teams to address the issue or concern directly. Whether it's reporting a pothole, requesting a recycling bin, requesting bylaw, or submitting a noise complaint, our dedicated city staff work diligently to address these requests promptly, ensuring that our city remains clean, safe and well-maintained.

Give the City your feedback on current and upcoming projects and initiatives

Engaged communities are strong communities. We know that all our decisions are improved through open and transparent processes and through the input of citizens and stakeholders. The City’s current, upcoming, and past engagement opportunities can all be found online at getinvolved.kelowna.ca. This central website serves as a virtual town square where residents can participate in discussions, share ideas and provide feedback on various city projects and initiatives. From community planning initiatives to transportation projects, your input matters and we encourage you to join the conversation.

The Citizen Survey is another avenue for engagement that the City uses. It is a statistically valid survey conducted every two years and is a tool for Council to understand our citizen’s priorities and understand satisfaction levels with municipal programs and services. The insights gained by this research help us make important decisions regarding planning, budgeting and service improvements.

Stay up to date on news, events and programs that the City is leading or involved with

The City of Kelowna's social media channels provide real-time updates on city news, events, and initiatives. Whether you are on Facebook, X, Instagram, Youtube or LinkedIn, you can stay informed and engaged with our city's programs, initiatives and activities while connecting with fellow residents and City departments directly.

You can also receive City updates and news directly to your inbox via the City’s e-newsletters, which provide a quick and convenient way to stay informed about city news releases, events, development applications and opportunities for engagement. By subscribing, you'll never miss out on important updates from City Hall, ensuring that you're always in the loop about what's happening in our city. I encourage residents to join the City Views subscriber list for a monthly update on upcoming news and events.

Connect with Council

There are also many avenues and channels available to residents to connect with Council directly. My colleagues on Council and I are here to serve as your elected representatives and advocates, and we value your input and encourage you to reach out to us. You can do so through a variety of ways:

  • You can attend a Council meeting, whether that be in person or virtually via the live broadcast available at Kelowna.ca/council.
  • Email Councillors individually through their direct email addresses.
  • Email Mayorandcouncil@kelowna.ca with your concern, idea, or request. This email is accessible to all of Council and I can respond to questions directly as a representative of Council.
  • Requesting to present to Council as a delegation by contacting Clerks at clerks@kelowna.ca.
  • Reading this monthly Column, Council Connect, which offers an inside look into Council decisions and more.
  • We have also been invited to be present at future Neighbourhood Association meetings, where I have invited all of Council to attend. This will be a new setting where residents can have face time with Councillors, meet them in person, express their concerns, and offer their ideas.

As elected officials, we are here to listen to your needs and concerns. We know that technologies will continue to evolve and change and that new channels will arise.

Our promise is to continue to adapt to ensure transparency and accountability through all the work we do.



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