Craig and Patti have been part of this community for 20 years, working tirelessly to make it a better place for business, for community, for life.
We know the value of being connected. That's why I'm running for Kelowna City Council. To be connected at the highest level to effect change where change is needed.
I can't win this race without your help. Flyering, word-of-mouth, and donating your time are all ways of helping us achieve our goals together.
I see signs presently that indicate this is a pivotal point in Kelowna's history and future. At the end of an extensive review and survey process conducted by the City, there are some very tangible well thought out options to critical issues, along with possible significant pitfalls. I see an opportunity to lend my skill set to a worthy endeavor - to weed out the non-starter, potentially disastrous, options and help the City focus and act on the most value effective long term sustainable solutions available. With a future that is a complicated mix of challenges and opportunities, my 40 years of education and training in problem definition, parameter assessment, and solution determination as a Professional Engineer is a good fit for a Councillor position with the City.
I was working on Gord Lovegrove’s candidacy and found his vision and plan for the future so compelling and well researched I decided to run for Council to help make it happen. Where before frustrated, I NOW see a future for the City that can be sustainable if it is undertaken properly with a solid vision in mind and comprehensive plan going forward (failure = urban sprawl, roadway gridlock, high cost of public transit, unaffordable housing leading to more illegal rental suites, lack of safety, etc).
We live in a small valley with limited resources and limited chances to balance a myriad of factors involved in maintaining our quality of life. Growth and people will continue to come. We must be ready for this now and on into the future with confidence in the future to stay balanced. A solid plan from a comprehensive shared vision will give us the strength and courage needed to tackle our housing affordability issue; irritating traffic congestion; street crime; public safety; the incessant problems of homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction and related crimes. My Engineering training has me eager to dig into the problems behind the problems we see and live with every day. Its time for experienced Council members with in-depth training in problem solving.
My wife and I raised our children here. We’ve been blessed with this amazing geographical location and friendly infrastructure. And, we’ve seen what poor planning has done to many of the Cities we’ve visited over our 50+ years and really vigorously don’t want bad planning decisions to happen here. I think it's also that I complain a lot about what is not happening with our infrastructure that I needed to get off the couch and become fully invested in the problem solving and long term solution development for this City. Being a volunteer helps, but I’m educated and trained to lead, manage, coordinate, and strive with a Team for solutions and achieve expected results on time and within budget.
I have run diverse and complicated organizations. I have been an industry and community volunteer wherever I have lived. Since my stint with the Home Inspectors Association board of directors of the past decade is over, as President, treasurer, executive member, liaison with Government and other industry players, now is the time for me to get involved with the challenges this City is presented with, for at least this next four years on Council if you vote me in.
I am pleased to endorse my good friend, mentor, and colleague, Craig Hostland P. Eng. AHI, for a position on the Kelowna City Council. I am Executive Director of the Home Inspectors Association BC and for the past 11 years I’ve had the good fortune of working closely with Craig, who served tirelessly on our Board of Directors in various executive positions, including 4 years as President of the Association. Like the mayor and council process, the HIABC Board of Directors and President act professionally under strict legislation and protocol.
Craig’s leadership skills within our association included:
· An ability to work within a team environment, leading the team towards goal-oriented achievements
· Ensured proper board protocol and vision, setting relevant motions and adoptions
· Prepared comprehensive agendas, accomplishing difficult initiatives
· Works well with others while commanding attention when warranted
· Formed a key part of an executive group lobbying government for regulation of the industry
· Understood government processes; built relationships to enhance our goals
· Delivered relevant messages to government, membership and Board
· Assembled and led a team of UBC professors and funding agencies to build a state-of-the-art examination system for the home inspection industry, which is approved by BC government as a testing mechanism for new home inspectors
Craig is trustworthy, forward-thinking and industrious, with the credentials and professional qualities required to make a difference for our City of Kelowna, just as he has done for the BC home inspection industry. He will leave no stone unturned to complete a task to ensure its victory, always giving his 100% commitment.
I can assure you that the City of Kelowna will be very fortunate indeed to have Craig working for us to guarantee the successful continued growth of our great community.
Without reservation, I endorse Craig Hostland for this position.
Helene Barton | Executive Director
Home Inspectors Association BC
Advancing professional home & property inspections
My commitment to Kelowna
My City, our shared hope for the future
Our City is at a crossroads, an enviable crossroads, but one none the less. Our City planners have developed some rather significant initiatives based on your feedback from recent studies and the citizen survey. Its now time to implement the best of those initiatives. Implementation requires a steely resolve and commitment that comes from technical expertise and real life practical experience and implementation success.
The time is now to elect Councillors with needed experience and expertise in both technical and social aspects to work with your highly qualified City staff. We must not let the old ways get in the way of progress. My campaign will take no donations as such and will rely on word of mouth. I will be elected because of my standing and exposure in the community. I will be elected by the grass roots who want unfettered Government oversight. I will be elected because I work towards consensus on sustainable and provable working solutions that will benefit our City for decades to come. I will be elected because I have the tenacity of a bulldog to make your dreams a reality.
Finally, I will be elected to further the outcomes of the most recent City strategy papers and citizen’s survey and support a comprehensive vision of the future, as adopted by Council, which is based on your well considered concerns:
The top 4 Citizen’s survey concerns to be addressed:
1. Affordability –failure of housing initiatives to reduce housing costs to an affordable level
2. Traffic – we continue to have traffic congestion although $10s of millions have been spent building roads
3. Safety – we have increasing crime in the streets and too many road crashes
4. Agriculture – we need to protect our food growing spaces and trees from the bulldozer and sprawling growth and work with the ALR to keep it strong in the face of unfettered development.
Your city hall staff have been working hard on SMART Growth management plans – housing, transportation, climate change, homelessness – as a community, thank you for your amazing input. Now comes the hard part, to transform plans into action over the next 50 years. I offer my expertise by supporting and advancing ideas such as that presented in Gord Lovegrove’s vision and well researched plan for Kelowna:
1. RIGHT AWAY
Mixed development and densification, supported by quality transit, parks, and active transportation networks are the keys to long term affordability, traffic peace, safety, and security.
Once elected, I will push for:
· Centrally located higher density housing/ commercial space, to reduce costs for users, such as multi-level housing with commercial storefronts with energy efficiency systems as promoted by Government grants
· Intersection ‘roundabouts’ first policy that reduces crashes and congestion by 75% and has the lowest costs
· U-Pass (ComPASS) for residents in Black Mountain, Gallaghers, Kettle Valley, Wilden, Clifton, Magic Estates neighborhoods (see Boulder, Colorado Neco-Pass for past 25 years) that is proven to reduce costs and provide more timely service.
· Connect more City of Kelowna initiatives to university/college level student research which is cost effective and articulate.
· Start planning an electric no emission railroad with community stations – USA to Kamloops, at $2 million/km vs $20 million/km for Highways, for our youth, our elders, our visitors, our tourism and our agricultural industries through private collaboration so as to not impact tax rates.
2. LONGER TERM
Once elected I will push to sustain your Quality of Life by adding my Civil Engineering and MBA skill set and blue collar business expertise, along with marrying leading edge university/college research, to City Council initiatives:
· Pursue planning and P3 (private/ public partnership) financing for low emission transport links for our smaller Okanagan Valley communities with eco-tourists and wine tours. Osoyoos to Salmon Arm;
· Protect your green space by keeping growth within existing communities; and,
· Promote jobs & services in neighborhoods, so that people can walk/bike <20 mins to work. Work with the major downtown businesses to stagger rush hour traffic and promote part-time at home work regimes. Weigh cost of status quo infrastructure development to the value of this promotion and take least cost / least impact option.
3. The EXPERIENCE I offer
· Academic background B. Apsc., MBA, PhD = having to work hard for expected results over extended time periods (3 and 7 years). Setting goals and achieving while full time father/ husband, business person, community supporter;
· 35 years as a Civil/structural/environmental engineer. I am an applied scientist – that is, I take/assess research and turn it into acceptable results. That’s my job in part. This is the time for people with my skill set to assist the Mayor and City towards our future in a well thought out, systematic, efficient, cost effective, sustainable way. That’s more bang for your buck while achieving short term and long term goals because of efficiency, wisdom, and built-in knowledge (and not requiring so much outside consultant $$$ expertise);
· 20 years in Kelowna as a father, husband, small business owner and employer. I know what its like to stretch a paycheck; but I also am insanely inquisitive into what hasn’t been working over my 2 decades here: still ineffective systems to curb homelessness/ petty crime/ drug trade; decline in public safety; less affordable housing; not solving a grid locked transportation system; and not curbing sprawling growth;
· Leadership. I have served as a leader of industry in engineering and building inspection services. I serve in a leadership role in Kelowna’s largest and most diverse Church. I will serve a leadership and prime mover role in Council. I will be part of the most successful team of Councillors that will be recognized for its achievements many years from now;
· Success. Success in family, success in community, success in business. I know how to find broad reaching success through those I associate with, and I believe this is the strongest candidate roster for technical and social skill sets yet and I want to be a part of their success by striving to fulfill your long term goals for this wonderful City;
· Commitment. I now commit my time and energy to advancing the vision laid out by Gord Lovegrove and his sustainable initiatives to keep this City strong and proud.
Kelowna is your city, and you have done well to develop it and its enviable quality of life. But your quality of life is at risk. City staff have been asking you and engaging with you for several years – with some GREAT plans resulting.
Now the real work begins – to move into our future through great plans and greater actions.
I offer you my experience and expertise to help.
My name is Craig Hostland P. Eng. MBA PhD and I'm running for City of Kelowna Council 2018.
Obtain the Citywide citizens survey; Healthy Housing strategy; and Housing needs assessment on the City of Kelowna website and get involved in the action plan we will implement once elected
My goals are your goals:
1. Making a future we can rely on
2. Affordable housing for our family
3. Increase public safety and access
4. Community transportation to reduce my costs and help reduce congestion
5. Keep the green spaces for our children and healthy food production.
Vote Oct 20
I will uphold the rule of law and gain clarity where necessary.
City managers have set the table for the action we need now to secure our future as a vibrant exciting City. Lets not waste this opportunity.
You have questions, I have answers, or know how to get them. You want to know how council is going to address street crime, gang crime, homelessness, affordability, traffic congestion, etc. Lets get together and talk about it!
Craig Hostland P. Eng. FEC MBA AHI PhD
Craig, 59, is a husband to Patti of 36 blissful years and lucky father of three grown professional daughters. He likes to work at his profession and spend time with his family or crouched over a good technical book. Craig has always taken on challenges as they present themselves, taking himself and Patti to the Arctic for 15 years then to the Okanagan in 1997 to help in running family businesses and his own businesses. Craig has always had time for higher responsibilities and pursuits including an MBA and PhD while running the businesses and is now free to run for Council. Craig and Patti like to ride, walk, and swim, eat out occasionally, and become involved in community and social groups. Craig is a Deacon at Trinity Baptist Church.
· Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia – Registered member since 1984
· FEC – Fellow of the Engineers of Canada 1989
· Home Inspectors Association of BC (HIABC) – Registered/ Accredited Member (AHI)
· CAHPI BC President 2012-15; various Board positions including treasurer and V-President 2007-2017. Continues as member on various committees
· Northwest Territories Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geoscientists – member, Past President, Director, Chairman
· Canadian Council of Professional Engineers – past Director
· Canadian Society of Civil Engineers – member, Past Chair of Cold Regions Engineering Division
· R–2000 Home Builders Association – trainer, energy auditor, residential design reviewer for the Northwest Territories
· GNWT Building and Learning Strategy – curriculum development, trainer
· University of British Columbia – alumni, Degree Granted: B. A. Science (Civil/ structural Engineering) 1982
· Queens University – alumni, Degree granted: Masters Business Administration 1996
· University of British Columbia Environmental Engineering PhD granted - 2016
MY EXPERIENCE HISTORY
· Project manager – chief estimator PCL Construction 1982 –1987 with over $100 million in successful estimates and $15 million in commercial/ institutional/ residential projects completed as Project Manager at the same time. Craig also was an innovator, starting and managing a Cost Consulting division to provide private sector consulting for the company.
· Principal – Ferguson Simek Clark Architects & Engineers – 1988-1997. As partner and head of International Project Management Department Craig completed over $100 million dollars in commercial/ industrial/ residential design/ inspection/ project management/ and construction projects in the Arctic. In 1994, FSC commenced the design, construction, and project management of a wide range of commercial/ institutional/ and residential projects in Siberia, Russia. Included is the design/ construction/ inspection and project management of over 1000 housing units. During this period, Craig authored several papers on the design, logistics, and construction of residential housing and commercial projects in Canadian and Russian cold regions.
Craig also prepared and taught project management and cost estimating training curriculum through Government of the Northwest Territories Building and Learning Strategy.
· 1997 – present. Craig and Patti own, manage, and participate in the operations of a Professional Building Inspection organization and Project Management firm that includes: Inspect IT Commercial Building Inspections, Healthy Homes IAQ, Healthy Buildings IEQ, and Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspection (wholly owned subsidiaries of R340 Enterprises Ltd).
Since moving to the Okanagan in 1997, Craig formalized his commercial and residential building investigation systems and has since conducted over 10,000 building investigations and assessments, while his investigation team completes thousands of investigations a year. Inspect IT conducts a majority of the commercial building inspections for buyers, insurance companies, banks, and stratas in the Okanagan. Craig has also taken a project development to PLA status with the City in his early years in Kelowna before focusing on building assessments.
Healthy Homes IAQ/ Healthy Buildings IEQ is a trademark indoor air quality and hazard assessment, sampling, and training firm specializing in indoor environments, building and occupant health. Craig furthers his Environmental Engineering PhD thesis through site assessment and problem solving.
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection (PTP) is a pre-inspection and prepurchase home inspection franchise that is now the World’s largest. PTP has completed more than 17,000 home inspections in the Okanagan/ Shuswap since 1996 and ranks in the top 3 home inspection companies in Canada and top 20 in North America.
From 2007 – 2018 Craig was an active leader with the Home Inspector Association of BC as a director, treasurer, and President of the Board during trying times in the inspection industry helping to orchestrate the regulation of home inspection and then improve the Government legislation to increase the standards for home inspection. Craig is an ongoing technical speaker and member.
Craig is a public speaker and trainer and expert legal witness for building defect; code compliance; and indoor air quality and building environment assessment. Craig has communicated with various municipalities including various Kelowna administrations to address adequate living environments for low income tenants in private housing over the past 10 years.
I have worked in boardrooms and on the jobsite to get things done. I am equally adept at both.
1. Who are you and why are you qualified to be a city Councillor? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
Craig Hostland P. Eng. MBA PhD. I’m a Civil/Structural/Environmental Engineer of 35 years. I am expertly educated in problem identification and problem solving. I have used that skillset to build three successful businesses, help turn the home inspection industry into a regulated profession as President, VP, secretary, treasurer and direct Government liaison to the Premier’s office. I’ve developed a billion dollar health care savings program; designed the first holistic indoor environmental assessment tool; and published papers on cutting edge Canadian cold regions technology. All to say, I accomplish what I vision and I vision solutions to Kelowna’s key issues.
2. How should the city tackle the rampant street-level drug-use, addiction and resulting crime crisis? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
The problem is complex. Broken down, a key solution component is to integrate the homeless into our society before they are drawn into drugs and then into crime. Another key element is to address mental health issues from the onset. Another element is the necessary human face of compassion in a transition process to help the less privileged back into the mainstream of society. Some of us are only one missed paycheck or serious illness away from the streets. We must recognize this fact and the humanness of the problem. Only then will healing and transformation start – as a community.
3. What were the three biggest mistakes made by this council since 2014? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
In the mid-90’s, the future growth sustainable communities model was thwarted by contrary interests through variances that allowed for satellite residential areas like Kettle Valley and Gallaghers to become the repeated examples of unrestrained urban sprawl without a community core; which boiled over into misdirected uncontrolled expensive infrastructure development that has left us with out of control traffic and out of line housing costs with a decreased quality of life and continued attack on our limited living space. Since 2014 we have seen our capital expenditure deficit balloon to half a billion dollars of unsustainable sprawled urban development investment.
4. Absent political parties at the local level, it's hard for voters to know anything about a candidate's broad political views. So which political parties do you support at the provincial and federal level?
If you won't say, why won't you say? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
At 59, political parties still haven’t captured my interest because my ideas don’t fall into such particular constraints set out by their membership conditions. I understand the fundamental benefits of political parties and that they assist to mould societal thinking towards certain limited positions that can be addressed by certain economic and social theories, but to me, they fail on so many other levels. I do not have an interest in defining my thinking within one of the mainstream political parties and I have no interest in starting another one. So read my platform and CV for my non-political views.
5. If the city were to unexpectedly receive a grant of $50 million that could be spent any way council chose, how would you advocate the money be spent? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
I would follow Burnaby’s model. Bank it and invest off the interest. In only a matter of a decade or so, Burnaby’s fiscal position has become the world’s envy with a billion dollars in the bank. A City is among other things, a social safety net. To best provide that service, it must make the best use of its resources including tax base. Personally, I conduct cost benefit analysis on most everything I do so that my decisions move me towards financial independence with an ability to share. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the City’s investments returned value instead of interest charges?
BONUS QUESTION: Which Canadian, American or world political figure has most inspired you over the years? (10 WORDS OR LESS, YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE TWO)
Many in the World; but Canadian – Lester Pearson for his out of the box focus on world-class social ideas and world beating solutions. Our social safety net was formed by his initiatives.
Municipal Election – Kelowna 2018-2022 Term
Mayoral & Councillor Candidates
Information for Chamber Webpage
Name, photo and responses (300 word maximum) to five questions below.
Candidate info & responses will be posted Monday September 17, 2018 and remain online until Monday October 22, 2018.
Candidates are invited to email their 300dpi colour photo and 300 word responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org Answers in excess of 300 words will be cut to the first 300 words. Please do not send PDFs; word format only. Thank you.
There is increasing frustration among citizens and visitors alike regarding traffic congestion, particularly on the major routes around and through the city. This is resulting in added commuting time for employees, and delays for trucks and services vehicles moving around and through the city. A previous vision of Council and the City included placing a high priority on the north end connector to ease congestion while reducing green house gas emissions. There have also been past discussions on a second crossing and an improved regional transportation network to make it easier for semis, logging trucks, delivery vehicles, etc. to move through the city to keep the economy moving while ensuring efficient supply lines for commercial businesses.
Q: If elected, aside from improved transit for those that don’t require a vehicle to commute or as part of their employment, what would you do to further improve the City’s/region’s road/transportation network?
The problems are real and are not being solved by conventional wisdom or status quo. Communities learned decades ago that building more roads only delays congestion by a few years. We are and remain a car society. To change the end result – grid lock at rush hours, we have to change the way we think and live. We just spent 20 million dollars or more widening hwy 97 to six lanes. There are still long backups at various intersections and it WILL get worse. Is that what we want as a society, to carry on status quo, knowing things will only get worse? I say not.
Solutions to traffic congestion and overuse of vehicles in our daily endeavors will require a lot of creativity as well as attitude adjustment. I would start with the obvious to me, reduce traffic signaled intersections and build more roundabouts instead. There is proof this speeds up traffic and reduces overall cost. I will work with City Staff to connect our outer communities (Crawford, Black mountain, Kettle Valley, etc.) with a more reliable transit system and funnel new road budgets towards common transportation systems that entice ridership. I am captured by UBC programs like U-pass that is proven to increase transit ridership and reduce the cost of a ticket. The longer term cost effective solution is to build up the job market in the outer communities, install all electric hydrogen rail and improve the network of integrated bike paths, a borrowed vision of Gord Lovegrove, Professor, proven innovator, and also candidate for Council. I will work to focus down to the most cost effective methods of getting cars off the streets at rush hour times in a manner that is enticing to the people of Kelowna. My Civil Engineering background demands it.
The downtown Kelowna street environment has changed over the past twelve months. There has been an increase in criminal and nuisance behaviour.
Q: If elected, what role would you as Councillor play in ensuring a safe environment for businesses, their employees & customers, and for tourists and residents visiting and living in the downtown area?
Safety in our community is an important plank in my platform. I want to walk with my family anywhere in Kelowna and feel safe. The change I see over the past few years is the increase in vagrancy, petty theft and break-ins, among others. This is a concern and clearly what is being done is not enough, so resources have to be redirected. I feel that a round table discussion at Council with input from the recent survey will help refocus our efforts towards addressing this problem. The problem will not go away, so we must figure out a way to minimize its impact and reduce its growth. This is a team approach I am eager to be involved in. Clear minds and well thought out cost effective strategies are possible. We will incorporate other Cities’ successes and find ways to mimic their methods.
Is the problem the catch and release program that allows perpetrators to be released based on voluntary reporting to court several months later? The legal environment must first of all be stricter. There must be real and immediate consequences for illegal behaviour. Otherwise, Kelowna, one of the most weather friendly Cities in Canada is a magnet. With regard to vagrancy, that is a much deeper problem that requires a collaboration of metal health providers and transition programs, in concert with City police, City officials, and volunteers. The first ever Third Space fund raiser I was at with my wife this past week was a real eye opener as to the extent of human issues and how volunteers are making a positive difference.
Let’s put an open public face to this epidemic with the help of community professionals and volunteers, police, academics, residents, and businesses – to tackle this complex problem with each of us doing our part.
Cost of Government.
The increasing cost of government (municipal tax hikes beyond the rate of inflation, raises in services fees, and development cost charges) are a concern. The Chamber understands the City has a critical role to play in providing services and regulating businesses, but believes in continual efforts to cut red tape, streamline approval processes and explore cost-saving service delivery options.
Q: If elected, how would you address this concern?
The public chooses Council members for various reasons, but there should always be fiscal prudence as an underlying premise. When City Hall begins to runs a profit through efficiency gains, right sizing management, and by cutting out excess, then it should only have some discretionary freedom in spending the taxpayer’s dollars, not before. I also strongly believe that Government should only fill in municipal needs when a competitive private sector cannot justifiably provide those services. Small business should be the basic economic engine for our community, not Government employment. I will work with council towards strengthening competitive private sector services and focus staff on management and oversight which I am aware they are keenly able to do. The totality of our existing staff is necessary to ensure this focus works cost effectively.
I have been impressed recently with the efforts of City Hall to cut red tape, provide direct services support to public needs, with direct contact initiatives that bring staff to the forefront of problem solving, hopefully with reduced paperwork.
Sustainable funding models require a lifecycle social cost benefit approach. Too many projects are built without a sustainable program that keeps them supporting Municipal initiatives. That is, initiatives are scrutinized to overall value taking into account all aspects of community, beyond mere dollar outlay over long periods of time. For example, I refer to Gord Lovegrove’s roundabouts first initiative which I endorse. Initial construction costs are roughly the same, but roundabouts reduce delays and crashes by up to 75%. Travel-time savings, and safety is accounted for in a roundabouts first policy for Kelowna. My PhD paper on the medical system can come in handy exposing opportunities to ring out unsustainable programs and replace them with value added results.
Variable Tax Rates.
Municipal governments have the authority to establish variable tax rates for the various tax classes. Many organizations have called for a ratio that should not exceed 3:1 for commercial vs residential class.
Q: If elected, what would you do to ensure businesses are not carrying an unfair amount of the tax burden, given business owners don’t have a vote but still are required to pay for public services, they don’t use?
I know that when I go shopping and I fill up my car with gas that taxes are a large burden. I know when I remit taxes for my employed Team and for my businesses that large sums are being transferred to Government coffers. I also know high taxes kill business growth and employment. The comparative amount may have an effect on jobs and sustainable living. I will learn the criteria and existing funding model, review with my peers, determine boundaries and options and then decide if there is an unfair tax burden and address it – if I am asked, when on council.
I know that the tax burden on higher earning people and businesses were well more than they are now. I know that well off people and corporations are willing to pay more for their quality of life and optimal business environment, but now with a low business tax regime they need to be won over based on proven methods and results. I will take that into account in my deliberations. As a Professional Engineer of 35 years I am not only well trained in problem solving and gaining best results through modelling and optimization, my business acumen has helped to grow successful businesses that focus on results through careful relationship building no matter the tax level. I look forward to challenges as opportunities to advance and support better ideas, to build consensus, and to focus on getting Council’s agenda completed. That and a tenacity for outcomes will help on this and many other matters that will present themselves during my tenure.
My economics background and training will also be helpful as we work towards taxation solutions that are cost effective and fair and which support economic growth and activity in our City.
Dealing with other governments.
Local Government is often called upon by citizens who have concerns about new or existing taxes/regulations that are in place at the provincial/federal level. The proposed speculation tax and provincial health employers’ tax are two recent examples of provincial policy that will have a negative impact on small businesses and the economy in Kelowna and elsewhere.
Q: What do you believe is the Mayor’s/Council’s role in dealing with these concerns?
I see the Mayor’s role as providing overall leadership. Whereas council’s role is to deliberate and gain consensus on municipal issues put before them so as to direct staff on required actions through the Chief Administrator. In this case, I more see the Mayor take the leadership role on Provincial matters as required or necessary, and that Council provide support in the form of availability, research, and outreach where able.
On behalf of the people of Kelowna, Council can also be a voice for change, a voice of reason, even beyond its borders towards regulations that affect the City, but defer to the Mayor as Leader. For example, how the speculation tax has been implemented directly reflects on the condition of our marketplace as housing sales is a big part of our economic engine. Council should know provincial policy in how it may affect our quality of life and business environment and be reflective of the people who are affected and be satisfied the Mayor reflects the wishes of the general public.
But let’s also not lose focus on Council’s own priorities and plans to enhance our quality of life by maintaining good governance, being fiscally prudent, while striving to meet our planning goals. We have little direct control over Government policy, but through vehicles such as the Union BC Municipalities, we can lobby for what is best for the City of Kelowna and what is best for BC and Canada and partner with like-minded municipalities to build consensus on issues that face our constituents: out of sight home prices; safety on our streets; traffic congestion; among others noted in the most recent city-wide survey. Personally, I leave it to our Mayor to address Provincial matters and Council to take care of the business of the City of Kelowna.
Question #6 – submitted by the Canadian Home Builders Association - Kelowna
BC Energy Step Code
Research indicates that homes built pre-1985 use 100% more energy than homes built today. Statistics Canada reports 60% of homes in BC were built before 1985. New homes built this year account for only 1% of housing stock in BC.
Q: If elected, would you support government bringing existing home stock’s energy efficiency on par with today’s standard of efficiency, before further increasing costs to new construction?
I do not support Government’s involvement in the housing market to bring older homes up to the energy standard of today’s new homes for practicality and cost reasons. I would leave older home energy retrofits decisions to the private sector with today’s ongoing Government and private sector rebates that provide awareness and interest and minor support to those able to facilitate improvement.
As a building science professional Engineer for 35 years, I have an opinion. In a perfect world, all buildings will meet or exceed today’s building and energy standards. Those standards are a result of much study and practical knowledge developed over many years and builds. Those standards require thicker walls, deeper attics, a preparation for additional future connection to solar, and a lot more money for materials and labour that don’t directly transmit into older homes without extensive renovation (even demolition) at much higher cost.
Building code upgrades are based on long term best practices with an eye towards future energy costs and future energy types. The changes do not reflect short term cost effectiveness which drives the housing market. It is not for Government to dictate how older homes are to be improved. It is for Government to lay out a cost benefit proposal towards sustainable energy based upgrading, but they will be unable to do so, as one does not exist at this time within the timeline of typical home ownership.
I just finished building a new home and I am well aware of the new energy standards versus even standards set just a few years ago. I paid a significant premium to meet those new code requirements that will not pay off for 20 years. Having to do them, rather than wanting to do them sticks a bit in my craw.
Question #7 – submitted by the Urban Development Institute - Kelowna
The issue of housing affordability has grown in prominence over the years with many people finding it more difficult to afford to live in the place where they work.
Q: If elected, what would you do to help address this difficult and complex issue?
Housing affordability is a critical issue in our City and forms a major emphasis in my run for Councillor along with the work Council and staff has done to date on the City’s Healthy Housing Strategic Plan. From my business I find well too many people living adhoc in suites (basements, etc.) poorly developed for quality of life. Those limited by financial means are even more enveloped on unhealthy/ unsafe environments.
Being able to live and work in Kelowna is a blessing. Living environments should be safe and healthy and provide a positive outlook on our City. People are being crammed into smaller and smaller spaces or into poorly conceived illegal rental spaces. The City promised to help alleviate illegal suites, but the latest versions of suite development bylaws are onerous and difficult to undertake and expensive in relation to owner skillsets and potential income. We have also seen too many aquaintenances that have ceased to rent because of the onerousness placed on tenant rights and owner obligations. Somewhere in the middle, is a happy medium of content owners and tenants. On Council we review these conditions and move forward in a more sustainable way.
We will also reduce the tenancy overload with affordable resale housing. That will require densification and continuance beyond the RU-7 zoning that will combine health and harmony with the facts of today’s economic condition. The densification requirements leads into the SMARTer housing vision of Gord Lovegrove who is wholly inclined in this area. It will address social isolation, affordability, density, availability, and family structure diversity all in one shared-economy, community model. My professional background and focus will help to cull out the least beneficial options so we can focus on the prime solution contenders. I will work for feasible solutions and timely results.
That you for the opportunity to speak to these and other issues.
Craig Hostland P. Eng. MBA PhD