Penticton mayoral candidates speak up

We put questions to each of the three candidates in the Sept. 7 byelection. Here's what they said:

  • Aug. 22, 2013 9:00 a.m.

1. What steps can Penticton city council take to ensure the proposed expansion for Penticton Regional Hospital gets approved and moves ahead as quickly as possible?

Brian Henningson

Continue forward with aggressive talks with Premier Christy Clark, and MLA representative Dan Ashton.

Garry Litke

As vice-chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Hospital Board, and a member of the Hospital Expansion Steering Committee, I have pushed for making the improvements a top priority. Part of this commitment included establishing and chairing an ad hoc committee of community leaders with the purpose of pressing publicly for the expansion.

The outspoken support of people in Penticton for an expansion is making a difference. Penticton has been paying taxes through the Regional Hospital Board at the RDOS for years to build a capital fund for the region’s 40 per cent share. This fund now approaches $30 million. The next occasion to lobby the province to fast track the expansion will be at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in mid-September.

As in the past, the mayor and city councillors will have the opportunity to meet with Interior Health, ministry officials and the official opposition. We must overcome all obstacles in the way of meeting this community’s need and work collaboratively with the provincial government, the medical community and the regional district to ensure that the hospital expansion gets built. Some time ago I pledged to do whatever it takes to get the expansion and I will continue to work until it is completed.

Vic Powell

Dan Ashton is now the MLA for Penticton and says he is committed to the PRH upgrade. If I have to camp on his doorstep to get things moving on the expansion I will do so.

2. Should council adopt a more open format, perhaps returning to committee of the whole meetings where issues are discussed more publicly, to avoid a repeat of the tax rate bylaw incident, where the matter was debated in camera and never discussed or voted on in public?

Brian Henningson

I do believe in an honest and open to the public forum on everything. I believe in no secrets, and always tell the full truth, not a half-truth, as so many politicians have done in the past. Although, I can see it would be helpful to council to discuss beforehand though, as not everyone can be an expert on everything, and it can be helpful to be better educated, in a workshop atmosphere, and have time to think things over, so as not to waste time at council meetings, nor to make split-second decisions.

Garry Litke

Citizens have the right to expect an open and transparent government. As acting mayor, I took an important first step towards more accountability by changing the policy for city committees. Under my direction, city committees were now required to conduct business in meetings that are open to the public, unless mandated by Section 90 of the Community Charter, under which all municipalities operate. Section 90 stipulates that only matters relating to land, legal or labour must be conducted “in camera.”

More can still be done, however. It has long been my belief that city council should be adhering more strictly to Section 90 parameters. Public access to, and debate at all council meetings needs to be encouraged. This means all meetings, including workshops, unless dealing directly with land, legal or labour issues should be open to the public. In addition to increased accountability, many members of the public have worthwhile ideas to contribute and need more opportunities to present these so Penticton can benefit.

Vic Powell

There are only three areas where council should not be open with: legal, land and labour. There is no reason why the rest of city business cannot be discussed in the open forum.


Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read