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VIDEO: Kelowna Mayor fights for his job

"I'm really excited about another term," said Colin Basran, "There's some really cool projects I want to see through."

He said there are incredible things happening in Kelowna as evidenced by the number of people who want to live here, but he admits there are challenges.

"I believe that I am the person who can help us lead through these challenging times," said Basran, "and help deal with some of the issues that are top of mind for our residents."

The big issues are homelessness and crime, and he said the way forward is by joining forces with other levels of government.

And Basran said his work at building those relationships is paying off.

"We have recently been awarded complex care housing spaces for people on our streets that have the most complex mental health and addiction issues."

This new housing space will be in addition to the more than 300 beds of supportive housing that have been created over the last four years.

He said he and his council along with the BC Urban Mayors' Caucus deserve a share in the credit not just for the housing, but for other shifts at the provincial level.

"The provincial government is prepared to make extensive changes, to its justice system and the healthcare system."

The changes target how Kelowna and other cities deal with repeat offenders.

"...to get the consequences that they deserve for those actions," said Basran, "but they're also going to get medical help that they need to deal with their underlying mental health and addiction issues."

On housing affordability, he points out that thousands of rental units have been built with more on the way.

"I want to continue with our incentive program to get rental housing built in our community," he added.

But, he agrees that it's still not enough.

"I want to continue with our housing opportunities reserve fund which allows the city and city council to purchase property," Basran said, "where we then partner with BC Housing for things like supportive housing, but also below market or subsidized housing."

On the issue of Kelowna's growing skyline, he stands by Kelowna's new official community plan.

"We can't keep sprawling," Basran said, "it's costly environmentally and it's costly financially."

For more on Basran, his fellow candidates for Mayor and the 32 councillor candidates check out Kelowna Votes 2022.

Voting day is Oct. 15.



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