West Kelowna  

Emergency crews work to clear a single-vehicle collision on Glenrosa Rd.

Vehicle in ditch on Glenrosa

Emergency crews were called to a collision on Lower Glenrosa Road in West Kelowna.

Eyewitness reports indicate that it was a single-vehicle collision and that at least one person received care from paramedics. The injuries are believed to be relatively minor, as the driver walked away from the crash.

The crash scene was cleared by 11:30 a.m.

Emergency crews clear the scene of a collision on Hwy 97

Collision clear on Hwy 97

UPDATE 3:31 p.m.

The multi-vehicle collision on Highway 97 near Boucherie Rd. in West Kelowna has now been cleared and traffic has returned to normal Thursday rush hour levels.

ORIGINAL 1:16 p.m.

Emergency crews are on the scene of a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 97 at Boucherie Road in West Kelowna.

It appears the collision was a chain reaction rear-ender at the Boucherie Rd. turnoff. Emergency crews including BC Ambulance Service were on scene but it does not appear that there are any serious injuries at this point.

Northbound traffic is backed up past Hudson Rd. as of 1:15 p.m. but traffic volume is expected to decrease now that the vehicles have been removed from the scene.

Police rescue man from carbon monoxide exposure in West Kelowna

Rescued from CO exposure

A man and his dog were rescued by police from a home in West Kelowna on Wednesday after a call from a worried family member. 

Police received a call just before 8 p.m. from a man concerned about the health of his father, who had recently moved to a new home. The man couldn’t remember the address or area of the house.

An officer was able to call and speak with the father, who sounded confused and in distress. He also wasn’t able to remember his address but told police that he lived on Old Okanagan Highway and was able to provide a description of his truck.

RCMP flooded the area and found the vehicle in front of a home in the 2400-block of Old Okanagan Highway. The man was rushed to hospital by paramedics.

A short time later, medical staff told police that he was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and that his dog was still in the home. RCMP returned to the residence with the West Kelowna Fire Department and rescued the dog, which was also showing signs of carbon monoxide exposure.

The West Kelowna Fire Department was able to determine that the furnace was the cause of the carbon monoxide and is now being dealt with.

“The responding officers acted quickly to locate this man and get him medical assistance,” says Sgt Joel Glen of the West Kelowna RCMP. “This incident highlights the importance of ensuring that your residence has carbon monoxide detectors, and that they are functioning properly.”

Freeze on rent increases extended to July 1

WFN extends rent freeze

Westbank First Nation has extended a freeze on all rent increases through July 1, 2021.

The original rent freeze, due to impact from COVID-19, was to have been in effect until January.

In a news release, the band say rent increase notices previously resolved by WFN council to become effective Jan. 1, 2021, will now become effective July 1.

Rent increase notices can still be served, however, the effective date of that increase will be July 1, or the date indicated, whichever is later.

The freeze includes all residential tenancies, including pad rentals.

Other measures adopted by council in September remain in effect, including:

  • Landlords and tenants may enter into a rent/utility repayment agreement for unpaid rent and/or utilities, although a repayment agreement is not required
  • A Notice to End a Residential Tenancy can be issued for non-payment or late payment of rent or utilities, or non-payment of an issued monetary order
  • Landlords are permitted to enter rental units with proper notice while following public health measures.

WFN Council and staff will continue to monitor the current pandemic situation as it relates to tenancy matters.

Click here for additional information.

COVID-19 cases linked to 4 Central Okanagan schools Wednesday

Virus confirmed at 4 schools

UPDATE 7 p.m.

The Central Okanagan School District has disclosed a COVID-19 case at a fourth school on Wednesday evening. 

Interior Health confirmed a member of the Okanagan Mission Secondary (OKM) school community tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier Wednesday, SD 23 also announced cases at Rutland Senior Secondary, Mar Jok Elementary School and Anne McClymont Elementary School. 

A full list of active school exposures in the IH region can be found here.

UDPATE 6 p.m.

The Central Okanagan School District has disclosed a COVID-19 case at a third school on Wednesday. 

Interior Health has confirmed a member of the Anne McClymont Elementary School community has tested positive for the virus.

“They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams. Interior Health follows up with anyone potentially exposed to a confirmed case directly through contact tracing,” SD 23 said in a news release.

Earlier Wednesday, SD 23 also announced cases at  Rutland Senior Secondary and Mar Jok Elementary School.    

A full list of active school exposures in the IH region can be found here.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.

There has been yet another COVID-19 case confirmed at a Kelowna secondary school.

Interior Health has confirmed that a member of the Rutland Senior Secondary community has tested positive for COVID-19.

The release from the Central Okanagan School Board indicates, "they are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams."

Interior Health is following up with anyone potentially exposed to this confirmed case directly through contact tracing, as they do in all instances. The release indicates that the, "safety and well-being of students, families, and staff remains our highest priority. Central Okanagan Public Schools will continue to implement the strict health and safety protocols and procedures that are in place so students and staff can continue to attend school as safely as possible."

Central Okanagan Public Schools indicate they will continue to work closely with Interior Health to determine if any additional actions are required, and as always, "we remind people to stay home from school if they show any symptoms."


The Central Okanagan School District says a member of the Mar Jok Elementary School community has tested positive for COVID-19.

“They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams. Interior Health follows up with anyone potentially exposed to a confirmed case directly through contact tracing,” SD 23 said in a news release.

Interior Health has not yet provided dates of the possible exposure at the school.        

“The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff remains our highest priority,” SD 23 said. “Central Okanagan Public Schools will continue to implement the strict health and safety protocols and procedures that are in place so students and staff can continue to attend school as safely as possible.”

A full list of active school exposures in the IH region can be found here.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue raised over $13k for Movemeber

$13k raised for Movember

West Kelowna Fire Rescue raised over $13,000 for Movember this year surpassing their goal of $2,000.

Firefighter Denan Bosk was the captain of the squad for the fundraiser and says being able to donate $13,217 is a blessing.

“It’s amazing, it’s for a good cause so obviously feels good for us and the department. We’re just happy to contribute to a great cause there.” 

“We originally started off with two grand and we had more buy-in from other people and lots of donations.”

The department had previously fundraised for the cause and Bosk says they ‘just piggy-backed off of that’ and got the other three stations involved.

“I know times are tight for people so anything that people can give is just been great for this fundraiser for the people that are in need, we are thankful.”

Most of the members got involved in growing a ‘stache.

“I’d say the vast majority of us had a greasy moustache right now.”

Bosk grew a classic moustache, “Unfortunately that’s all I can grow, I’m not privileged with being able to grow handlebars.”

This will be an annual tradition for the firefighters on the Westside with an increased goal. 

“We have the bar set now so we’ll just continue.”

Wilson's Landing Fire Safe Santa Food Drive kicks off Dec. 7

Fire Safe Santa Food Drive

The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping the annual Wilson's Landing Fire Safe Santa Food Drive from taking place this year.

Wilson's Landing Fire Department members are gearing up to help those in need this holiday season. On Dec. 7, they will visit and collect donations from the Westside Road communities they serve. 

Flashing lights on the members vehicles will be seen from 5 to 9 p.m. as they pick up non-perishable food and monetary donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank in West Kelowna. 

Residents are asked to turn on their outdoor front lights and place their food donations outside of their doors, or at the end of their driveways.

The firefighters will be joined by Santa as they travel from Traders Cove to Shelter Cove, including Lake Okanagan Resort. 

All participants will be social distancing to ensure everyone, including Father Christmas, is healthy for Christmas. For more information email [email protected] or call 250-469-6161.

West Kelowna looking for input on short-term rental regulations

Short term rental feedback

The City of West Kelowna is looking for public input on proposed regulations governing short-term rentals in the city.

Feedback will help to shape final regulations expected to come before city council sometime early in the new year.

In order to protect long-term renters and tourism within city boundaries, West Kelowna has determined it short-term rentals are to operate, they must be regulated.

Residents can review the draft regulations online, and provide feedback in the form of a questionnaire.

You can also contact the project team at 778-797-8830, or email [email protected] to arrange for a paper copy of the draft regulations.

Staff will review the feedback in the new year before preparing the final list of regulations.

It's anticipated short-term rentals would allow the rental of a portion of an operator’s primary residence, or the entire residence when they are away, for periods of less than 30 days.

Staff further anticipates that they would not be permitted in secondary suites or carriage houses. Parking requirements and maximum occupancies are also under consideration.

The city has created the draft regulations through a review of local and regional regulations and Council’s guiding principles, which prioritize mitigating potential negative impacts to neighbourhoods and protecting the long-term rental inventory.

There is now a new gas station on the Okanagan Connector

New gas stop on Connector

If you're travelling on the Okanagan Connector there is now a new place to stop and gas up.

JJ Sekhon tells Castanet he and his family decided to invest in the business due to the lack of fuel between Kelowna and Merritt.

"We just felt that it would be a good location because there is no gas station on that route so we thought it was a really good opportunity."

The new gas station just erected its sign last week and the location has been completely renovated to include a dog park, convenience store and freshly done washrooms.

"We built a dog park for people with pets and we are going to add a map that shows the surrounding lakes and other features," said Sekhon.

The new location has been built at the former Elkhart Lodge, at the Elkhart Road exit, roughly halfway between Merritt and West Kelowna on Highway 97C.

Sekhon says the gas station has been open for the past several weeks and he's hopeful that people will start taking notice and paying him a visit now that their new sign is up along the highway.

"We just got our sign up last week and we're starting to see more (people) coming in because they are noticing it."

Firefighters’ 23rd Annual Food Drive continues through pandemic

Firefighter food drive still on

Sarita Patel

West Kelowna Fire Rescue will continue their 23rd Annual Holiday Food Drive in support of local food banks. 

Typically, the team would go door-to-door to collect items. But this year due to provincial health guidelines, the fire stations will be drop off sites for residents to leave their non-perishable food donations from Dec. 1 to 15.

“Our fire stations are strategically located across the Westside to provide quick response, so they also make terrific drop off locations for our residents’ food bank donations,” says Fire Chief Jason Brolund. 

“We hope residents strongly support our modified approach as the holiday season is a time of great need for Westside residents accessing the Central Okanagan Food Bank. West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s Annual Food Drive collects thousands of items, keeping shelves full throughout winter.”

City of West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson were on hand Monday to kick-off the campaign. 

“I think at this time of year there is a heightened awareness of those among us in need and continuing these types of services,” explains Derickson. “The West Kelowna Fire Department needs to be applauded for adapting to the restrictions under COVID but not losing sight of the need to contribute to those in need in our community.”

“A lot of families in our community that could use a helping hand, so I am fully supportive,” said Milsom. “I know the city and our fire department are fully supportive of the food bank and the good work they do in the community.”

Residents can leave their donations at in designated bins at the four locations:

  • Station 31 – Westbank, 3651 Old Okanagan Highway
  • Station 32 – Lakeview Heights, 2708 Olalla Road
  • Station 33 – Rose Valley, 1805 Westlake Road
  • Station 34 – Glenrosa, 3399 Gates Road

“Let’s do everything we can to keep our community and firefighters safe during the pandemic and still ensure the food bank gets the help it needs,” adds Chief Brolund. 

“Firefighters will take good care of everyone’s donations and make sure they get to the food bank.”

The Central Okanagan Food Bank forecasts a 28 per cent increase in Christmas hamper requests this year due to the pandemic. 

“Food brings us together and many holiday memories are made around the table; however for families facing hunger, holiday meals can be a source of great stress," says Tammie Watson of the Central Okanagan Food Bank. 

“We thank Westside residents in advance for pitching in as much as they can to support the firefighters’ food drive and make sure no one goes hungry.”

“The food bank tends to rely on our annual donation,” says Pat Harmata, captain at the West Kelowna Fire Rescue. “I’ve heard it fills the shelves up for four-to-six months from what we collect in the wintertime.”

“Having raised my son as a single parent, having relied on the donations of others just to make it day-to-day — I know how important donations are to members, the most vulnerable members of our society,” added Derickson. 

Central Okanagan residents can also donate to the food bank through the Castanet and Total Restoration "Set the Table" food drive, which will see volunteers pick up donations from your front step.

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