Castanet Kamloops is going to help you get to know the candidates running for city councillor over the next several weeks. Each weekday morning starting on Sept. 12, we will be posting a Q&A for each hopeful running for Kamloops council in the Oct. 15 local general election. Every council candidate will be asked the same questions, and their answers, submitted to Castanet by email, are published in full.
Castanet Kamloops: Why do you think you would be a good councillor for the City of Kamloops? What unique perspective, skills or vision do you bring to the table?
Darrell LaRiviere: Unlike most other candidates, I have a comprehensive vision for Kamloops (available at dlk.ca). Among other things, I want to reduce bureaucracy, enact local consumer protections, and switch the City's IT infrastructure to Linux.
I also have a vision of how to increase overall affordability by creating the Kamloops Housing Company (whose purpose is to build, buy, and maintain affordable housing stock in Kamloops), decreasing child poverty (by creating a free year-round breakfast and lunch program), and fixing our public transit.
What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the community today?
LaRiviere: Homelessness and the associated criminality. Lack of affordable housing (and affordability in general), and terrible public transportation.
How can the city best tackle social issues — mental health, addictions, homelessness, crime — given the need to work with other levels of government responsible for those areas?
LaRiviere: Housing first! Since we can't change criminal laws to require forced rehabilitation of addicts and the mentally unstable we (as a City) must focus on what we can do — getting homeless people off the streets (regardless of the reason why they're homeless). Sheltering the homeless must be the first priority. Pod homes have been constructed in Portland with some success.
Building mental health and addiction treatment centres is necessary. Again, waiting for the province or federal governments to do anything is an excuse to do nothing.
Kamloops and area has felt the impacts in recent years of a changing climate. What do you think the city should do to foster climate resilience and reduce emissions?
LaRiviere: By improving our public transportation system (as well as our bike paths) and requiring newly constructed buildings to be built green — with geothermal heating and cooling and/or solar power. This requirement would be relaxed (in residential builds) in order to increase affordable housing stock.
How can the City of Kamloops strengthen its partnership with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and continue working toward reconciliation with First Nations?
Unknown, but reconciliation through words is hollow unless they are accompanied by actions. I will support any good ideas which accomplish the stated goal.
Visit Castanet's Kamloops Votes page to find profiles for City of Kamloops mayoral and councillor candidates along with links to candidates' websites and social media accounts if available.