Why I'm Running

Over the last eight years in particular, decisions made are increasingly inconsistent with plans developed by the community, with council members not even asking critical questions about the impacts. These decisions appear to be negotiated behind the scenes providing great profit to developers and investors with little in return for our city and us as residents. We are now seeing the impacts of those decisions with multiple overlapping crises: housing, affordability, traffic, environmental loss and staff shortages.

What is it going to be like in eight years from now?

As a former Transportation and Mobility Manager with the City of Kelowna, I have a clear understanding of processes that should be followed and are not, along with solutions to manage our growth and how they are being ignored in favour of developers. Council meanwhile is not being provided with information from Senior City staff to make informed decisions, nor are they requesting it. I’ve personally been stonewalled on multiple information requests about deals such as a revised McKinley Beach development, Glenmore Road widening, Transportation Master Plan projects totalling a quarter of a billion dollars, the Official Community Plan and fire staffing levels.

Kelowna urgently needs leadership that will ask the right questions and bring transparency to City Hall.

Vote Peter Truch for Truth.

Peter Truch is campaigning for a City Hall with less to hide

“There’s people I am very close to that can’t afford to live here. We’ve seen lots of stories about police officers not being able to afford to move here because they can’t afford housing.”

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Key Platform Issues

Housing Affordability

Creating a community in which everyone can live in.

One of my first motions would be to introduce declaration of two emergencies, one of them an affordability emergency; this would enable looking at any decision through a lens that 
ensures our community is fully accessible and inclusive to all, and that nobody is left 
behind.
 
Then, I would seek to implement a fairly simple three-ish point plan that addresses housing affordability head on:
 

1) Understand, through a rapid study the income levels currently in Kelowna by demographic, and expected income levels/potential in the near future for incoming residents.

2) Encourage home builders, and zone/approve missing middle housing, in the ‘right’ areas of the city helping to minimize mobility costs (as this is the next greatest cost to a family).  

 

Location of where zoning happened is just as important, as mobility costs are almost as much as housing at times; housing should be located such that most community amenities (parks, recreation such as play fields and rinks, groceries, pharmacy, cultural and social opportunities, a community centre, etc. are within a 15 minute walk, or five minute short drive.  This allows residents the option of saving significant costs on transportation (think insurance, gas, maintenance, and the actual purchase price or lease of a vehicle).  

Ensure approvals reflect the available housing supply is sufficient BASED ON Kelowna’s income levels and corresponding demographics.

3) If this is not enough to provide affordable housing for all income levels (eg construction costs aren’t low enough to provide the supply), then the City needs to develop a financial program that is complementary to provincial and federal programs to help residents attain housing (purchase and/or rental).  This is not a new or unique approach; Regina has had a similar program for many years, helping residents of all income levels attain affordable housing.

3B) Again, if steps 1 and 2 aren’t enough, then the City should flex the partnerships department it established several years ago to work with businesses to increase salaries or creative ways to help support housing.

Climate Action & Environmental Protection

One of my first motions would be to introduce declaration of two emergencies, one of them being a climate emergency.  This would, enable looking through all decisions through a climate impact lens.  Moreover, it should ensure real action on environmental issues, not doing a study to say we need to further study the issue.
 
– Plantings for 20% tree coverage completed in four year term.  (Full foliage may not be at that amount, but pardon the pun, the seeds will be sewn to achieve that in the future!)
 
– Overhaul recently adopted OCP and TMP to achieve clean bc targets for GHG reductions.
 
– Major increases in transit, and active modes infrastructure/operations, reallocating budget to these.
 
– Study for implementation of a congestion charge in the central Okanagan, reflecting real costs of environmental impacts
 
– Similarly, ensuring vehicle parking (as a whole system, including on-street and private/on-site locations) are cohesively managed as a revenue neutral (or better yet, revenue generating) system that includes environmental costs
 
– Green roof requirements for new builds, requirements for retrofits
 
– Implement step code requirements exceeding provincial requirements
 
– Mandatory implementation of clean energy sourced power generation to support the entire city
 
– Implementation of repurposing city owned rights of way (Eg parks and streets) for production of agriculture (yes, why can’t we use a road right of way to grow food?!) and restoration of horticultural purposes (Eg bee corridors).
 
– Work with RDCO to implement segregated refuse bins in public spaces (Eg there is only garbage bins in our parks and do not divert waste at the source).
 
– Restore more natural water sheds for some of our creeks (particularly Mission); long term program to buy back floodplain areas.
 
– Crossover with SD23 to greatly enhance environmental education within the school system.

Government Transparency & Accountability

– Ensure staff complete fulsome study of an issue, not present cherry-picked information that leads to an answer desired by that who controls the information.
 
– Ensure that information is presented to Council, objectively, before offering a recommendation.
 
– Eliminate the policy that City Council members are prohibited from directly speaking with City staff members (currently all information must be conveyed through one man – the City Manager).
 
– Ensure a third reading does not occur on the same night as a public hearing.
 
– Provide more time for file reviews by Council and public engagement.
 
– Add additional planning staff to ensure that developments still receive a timely review.
 
– Engage and support community associations to strengthen public engagement and 
communication of their constituents within individual areas within our community. Repeat at the Council level for all Kelowna residents.
 
– Before the next election in 2026, implement a ward-based system to increase direct representation of all parts of the community.  I will make a motion to have a study immediately completed to determine the best approach, but based on my research, my preference is dividing Kelowna into the 4-5 natural communities, and having the top two candidates within each ward represent.  Collaboration and cooperation is always better than going through one person!
 
– I also believe in the power of advisory committees, specifically those who are combined entities of people with technical expertise, staff members, city councillors, 
and members of the public at large from across all geographic regions of the city. Most of these were completely dismantled almost a decade ago by City Council and City staff. As part of my campaign, I am creating a system that hopes to emulate these committees going forward, whether I am elected or not, to help keep Kelowna on track. Of course, being elected will help to formalize and officially reinstate them.
 
– Support the large majority of people who are currently disengaged, just struggling to exist, and get involved, by ensuring a much more robust engagement process.  Exercise the power and expertise of the very large communications group within City staff 
 
– Look at any decision with a short-term and long-term lens; is this best for the community now and in the future? Is it mindful of the community at large, balancing the needs of an individual with the needs of the community at large? Is it fully accessible and inclusive?

Improved Mobility/Reduce Traffic Congestion

– I fully support the concept of a 15 minute city distributed throughout Kelowna, and well interconnected through transit and active transportation corridors. In areas where it is not possible to develop a 15 minute city, development should essentially cease. This 
doesn’t mean stopping development, just relocating it to an area that is more beneficial overall. 
 
In a 15 minute city, a variety of recreational opportunities, shops, services, grocery store(s), pharmacy, parks, a community centre and gathering place, and cultural activities, along with work and employment opportunities should be available within a 15 minute walk. We have several areas that need much improvement in these areas. For instance, why does someone in Rutland have to go to the South Mission for minor hockey? Why does someone in Glenmore not have a rink at all?  Or a library?
 
So how does this help congestion?  When people have most services located close to where they live, trip lengths correspondingly decrease.  Study and study for decades has proven this out.  Furthermore, if centres are easily accessible by bike and walking, then the amount of car-based trips also automatically drops.  The amount of GHGs pumped into the atmosphere drop.  It’s a win-win-win.
 
– I will advocate dropping the speed limit on residential streets to 30km/h to increase livability and safety, along with engineering enhancements to help slow vehicles and reinforce the speed limit.
 
– I support and will advocate for transportation-based safety improvements along the major corridors to reduce collisions and injuries, and reduce congestion that is caused by incidents.

Livability

Recreational and social opportunities that build community in your neighbourhood.

Have a Great Idea?

The best politicians listen and become representatives for the community. Tell me your great idea to make Kelowna better!

Join A Resident Action Group

Resident Action Groups keep City Hall informed, responsible, accountable, and transparent in its decision-making. They are intended to replace advisory committees nixed by City Hall 8 years ago.
Join me, Peter Truch, in building our community for the better!
Join a Resident Action Group!