Castanet Kamloops is going to help you get to know the candidates running for city councillor over the next few weeks. Every 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. All council candidates 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?
Caroline King: I would make a good councillor because I am a community advocate driven by a lifelong commitment to volunteerism. This experience makes me uniquely suited to bring a much-needed level of understanding to the table when council discussions turn to our complex issues. As a business owner, I understand how a vibrant economy benefits all levels of society and the need for the council to focus on affordability and growth.
What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the community today?
King: The most pressing issues are the current state of our streets, with drug addiction and mental health fuelling the homeless crisis and the recent crime wave. These complex issues, combined with the lack of affordable housing and the rising cost of living, have taken a toll on Kamloopsians.
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?
King: City leaders must stop perpetuating the status quo and refocus their efforts on recovery, accountability and transparency. Council does need to work with other levels of government on these areas; however, that work must be on an equal footing, not as backbenchers who refuse to involve citizens as equal stakeholders. It is appalling, quite frankly, for this council to turn down a feasibility study for a recovery centre due to "scope of reach" and then vote 9-0 to lobby the feds for an increase in international students' work hours. The city needs to be consistent with its efforts toward "scope of reach."
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?
King: One of the best ways we can foster climate resilience is through neighbourhood densification. Densification will optimize current infrastructure and services, facilitate healthy travel and reduce emissions.
How can the City of Kamloops strengthen its partnership with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and continue working toward reconciliation with First Nations?
King: We have done significant work in fostering a meaningful relationship with Tk'emlups te Secwepemc, and it will be vital that we continue our relationship of ongoing reconciliation. We need to be ever vigilant of Secwepemc culture, values and history.
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.