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?
Bill Sarai: I will continue to be a great councillor for the City of Kamloops as I work very hard and take my duties very seriously. I have and will continue to take calls and visit with residents in all four corners of our city to hear their concerns. More importantly, I will make decisions on behalf of our residents by requesting all relevant information be made available. Also to be fiscally responsible and to keep our tax increases to a minimum without cutting services our residents depend on.
What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the community today?
Sarai: Covid, housing costs, labour shortages and mental health and addiction issues on our streets.
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?
Sarai: I will continue to pressure all levels of government and local agencies including the RCMP and our provincial courts to further assist our community in finding long term solutions with these issues and not the 'band-aid' solutions we are currently seeing. I will be meeting in person with the Attorney General of B.C. requesting the approval for the Kamloops Community Health Court application.
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?
Sarai: We have established a community climate action fund and I will support tangible actions that we as a City and its residents can make a difference to assist in climate change. Examples of this are planting more trees, conserving more water, looking for alternative energy sources for all our civic buildings and vehicles. I would like all our BC Transit fleet to be all non gasoline powered by 2025.
How can the City of Kamloops strengthen its partnership with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and continue working toward reconciliation with First Nations?
Sarai: This is very near and dear to my heart. Since being elected, our council to council have met numerous times on a variety of issues. Not only has our relationship as two governing bodies strengthened, my personal relationship with TTS councillors has progressed to more of a true friendship then of just an elected official. I have been appointed on the committee to work with TTS Chief and council members and staff on a joint cultural and recreation plan. It has been mentioned to our council on numerous occasions by numerous leaders that the City of Kamloops and TTS have a relationship that is a poster child and benchmark that other municipalities and First Nations are trying to achieve. Neighbours lean on neighbours in good times and in bad.
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.