Castanet Kamloops is going to help you get to know the candidates running for mayor. Every Saturday morning, we will be posting a Q&A for mayoral candidates running in the Oct. 15 local general election. All candidates are asked the same questions, and their answers, submitted to Castanet by email, are published in full.
Castanet Kamloops: What is your vision for Kamloops? If you are elected, what do you think will be different four years from now?
Ray Dhaliwal: My vision for Kamloops is a strong community, with a great relationship between senior city staff and city staff, I envision that the people of Kamloops will be happy with their new mayor and council and support them. The disconnect between the people of Kamloops and elected officials will be reduced. We need to rebuild the core of our city before we can move forward. Then we can deal with the crime and the drug deaths and housing. Until we have a strong core team at city hall there will be no strong leadership.
In four years as the mayor of the City of Kamloops, I see a strong foundation being formed, beginning at city hall and reconnecting with the taxpayers of our city. As the mayor of the City of Kamloops, I can see Kamloops as a city that others look to for guidance. As the mayor of the City of Kamloops I see a city that will have more amenities and venues that will be affordable for our taxpayers. Kamloops will start to catch up to where we should have been 10 years ago. Kamloops will be a safe, strong, vibrant community.
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?
Dhaliwal: In order to deal with mental health, addictions and homelessness, we need to form a strong relationship with the provincial government. With a strong, respectful relationship we can work together to help those in need.
Where do you stand on the performing arts centre issue? Would you like to see it move forward if elected? If so, where would it be on your list of priorities?
Dhaliwal: On the performing arts centre, we are in the midst of a major downturn in our society, with interest rates rising and the economy being slowed by the federal government, the future is unclear. Businesses and taxpayers cannot afford higher taxes at this time, I would support the performing arts centre if there was no taxpayers' money involved, the private sector and proponents of the arts centre must step up to the plate and create the funds needed to move this project forward.
How important to you is the city’s designation as Canada’s Tournament Capital? What is your vision for recreation and recreation facilities in Kamloops?
Dhaliwal: Our designation as the Tournament Capital is our jewel in the crown. Our facilities are world class and need to be expanded. The funds generated to our community is enormous and feeds our economy. My vision for the future is to create more facilities, to build on what we have. We still have a long way to go.
What do you think the city’s role should be in attracting new business and fostering existing businesses? What do you think the city can do to ensure sustainable economic growth for Kamloops?
Dhaliwal: The City's role in attracting new business is a priority of mine, we need large companies to set up shop here and create good paying jobs to keep our young families here in Kamloops. In order to ensure sustainable economic growth, we need more industrial land and reduce taxes for new companies that will create good paying jobs for our young people. We can do it together!
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.