My name is Kate Hansen and my family has been in Penticton for over 100 years.
My Nana arrived on the SS Sicamous in 1919, and my mother graduated from Pen Hi in 1958. I grew up here, and believe it is the best place in Canada to live and raise our daughter, who will be the class of 2024.
I have spent the last 29 years serving the citizens of Canada as a member of the RCMP, with the last five years working right here in Penticton. I have seen many negative changes in our city, and it is these changes that have motivated me to run for city council. I am a devoted mom, a retired member of the RCMP, a children’s book author (Harry the Musical Ride Horse series), an active member of the Catholic Parishes of Penticton, wife, sister, and horse enthusiast.
Many community families will know me from my work as the RCMP DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer in local schools. Helping to educate our youth about prevention and good decision-making has always been one of my priorities. I will work hard to ensure that Penticton remains a safe, modern city, yet keeps its small-town charm. With your support, I would like to contribute to my hometown in a meaningful way as a city councillor.
Q: How would you address the housing crisis?
A: The city needs to entice developers and builders to build affordable housing solutions, by providing economic incentives and lowering administrative costs. Penticton also needs to allow for rezoning of residential properties within specified areas of the city, to allow for densification. This issue is not unique to Penticton, so we should look to other successful initiatives, like the “Portland Infill Program.”
Q: How would you address rising crime rates and social issues impacting Penticton?
A: The city needs to work more efficiently, and hold responsible agencies accountable for their actions or inactions. The RCMP needs to fill the vacancies that they are currently experiencing before seeking to increase their manpower. The city needs to exert more pressure on the BC Housing, and work with them to properly assist and support social housing. We need to engage the provincial criminal justice system to reduce the impact that prolific offenders have on our community with appropriate charges, conditions and sentences. Until we understand that it takes all four Addiction Pillars – Prevention/Harm Reduction/Treatment and Recovery/Community Safety – working together, we will not break out of our current downward cycle.
Q: Do you have a plan to support small business?
As we move through our COVID recovery, it will be more important than ever to support the “Love Local” program. I would like to see the business community form a collaborative action plan, and the council get behind their ideas and suggestions wherever possible. Small business owners are the experts, and city council needs to do everything it can to help them succeed.
Q: Do you support more low-barrier supportive housing or what do you think can address the addictions and mental health issues facing the community?
A: To address the addictions and mental health issues facing Penticton, we first need to hold the stakeholder agencies accountable, to ensure they maintain acceptable community standards, and are compliant with the “Good Neighbour” Bylaw, and the Criminal Code of Canada. Furthermore, until we start working collaboratively to support those struggling with addiction issues, via the 4 Addiction Pillars – such as providing “treatment on demand” – we are destined to remain in the continuous loop we currently find ourselves.
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