Amelia Boultbee grew up in Penticton then attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where she later built a career as a civil litigator.
She is happy to be home again, now working for Veterans Affairs Canada representing Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members on disability and pension issues.
“I’m running for city council because I feel my professional background and my deep knowledge of local issues is the right mix needed on council right now to deal with the pressing issues of homelessness and crime facing our town,” Boultbee said.
“I feel the energy and focus of someone under 40 who is also a professional and specializes in dispute resolution is what Penticton and what council needs, as well as a fresh perspective on attracting and retaining small businesses and diversifying the local economy.”
1. How would you address the housing crisis?
I would address the housing crisis by seeking to add a variety of multifamily housing options. Right now, one of the major factors contributing to rising housing prices is Penticton’s lack of inventory. The Official Community Plan also identifies lack of inventory as a problem. Densification, responsible development and the addition of a healthy mix of housing options including carriage houses for rentals, building upwards, and seeking to approve development proposals where appropriate is what I see as the city’s main role in cooling housing prices.
2. How would you address rising crime rates and social issues impacting Penticton?
Our RCMP officers are completely short staffed, with over 170+ cases each and they need more officers right away. Social issues are complex and the root causes are poverty and untreated mental illness. The provincial and federal government need to do more to solve these issues, and as a city councillor I would seek to carry that message to our provincial and federal officials on behalf of Pentictonites. We cannot allow our RCMP officers to remain short staffed and I would immediately move to add additional officers. We can afford it and in fact cannot afford not to do this.
3. Do you have a plan to support small business?
Absolutely. Small business is what my entire family does and is the backbone of our local economy, so I know that keeping taxes low, promoting shopping local, and keeping downtown safe and clean so their customers can park and walk into stores is important.
Businesses are struggling to attract employees and staff, because no one can find anywhere to live, which is why adding housing inventory will also help our small businesses.
4. Do you support more low barrier supportive housing or what do you think can address the addictions and mental health issues?
Before we add any additional supportive housing, we need to see the results of the independent audit and determine whether Penticton currently has the wrap-around services and infrastructure to support additional projects.
As a city councillor, I would also work closely with those who provided wrap-around services to better understand how we can work together, and even advocate with them to the province for more robust service contracts so they are empowered to do the very challenging work they do.
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