Bookmark and ShareLocal Business

Chamber president displeased with reaction from mayor

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 | 7:32 pm

GD Star Rating

Norm LeCavalier

By Kathy Michaels

Representatives of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce aren’t pleased with the frosty reception they received from the mayor at a city council meeting on Monday.

Following a presentation outlining the business community’s input on the Official Community Plan, Mayor Sharon Shepherd said the report was missing the mark. Already, she said,  city initiatives are  addressing and exceeding many of the issues the business lobbying group brought forward.

Chamber president Norm LeCavalier was alerted to the mayor’s comments Tuesday morning when he read the local daily paper, and said he was  “caught off-guard.”

Since then he has been in discussions with various chamber members, trying to figure out the best way to move forward. They’re taking the issue so seriously that a Feb. 23  board meeting has even been scheduled to address that exchange  and he’s trying to arrange a meeting with the mayor and city manager.

“We’ve had this kind of reaction from the mayor in the past when she thinks we are trying to tell (the city) how to do their job,” said LeCavalier.

“But we were asked to take part in this process.”

As to whether or not the chamber should have tailored its recommendations to take into account  initiatives that are  underway, LeCavalier said that the information they shared is valid enough to have gained the approval of Coun. Graeme James.

And, he added, the feedback was collected by volunteers on their own time and that’s something he believes should be taken into account.

“For 18 months our volunteers connected with stakeholders and did this work pro bono, and you have to look at it from that perspective,” he said.

The report presented to council is the sixth document submitted to the city during the OCP review since September 2008.

Throughout the consultation process, the chamber has urged the city to make economic sustainability a higher priority in the OCP.  The Kelowna Chamber has stated that to move the community forward, the OCP needs to balance social, environmental, and economic initiatives.

The Chamber believes seven  key issues require further discussion:

  • Economic Prosperity
  • Technology Park
  • Reducing GHG’s while protecting economic sustainability
  • Housing
  • Public Transit
  • Encouraging Green Technology
  • Water Sustainability

Bookmark and Share

2 Responses to “Chamber president displeased with reaction from mayor”

  1. John Zeger says:
    GD Star Rating

    The Chamber of Commerce is probably the most spoiled group in the city as they are used to almost always getting what they want with City Hall. This special treatment for the Chamber should end and maybe it just has. I completely support Mayor Shepherd.

  2. Devil's Advocate says:
    GD Star Rating

    @ John Z

    Yes they certainly are spoiled. They contribute nothing to the city except a large portion of the taxes that many on this city council squander for their many pet projects and adolescent attempts at planning for the future.

    Yes, let not listen to the people that have a huge stake in the future of this city and are the life blood of the growth and opportunities that are the future of this city.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link