First of its kind meeting
Elected officials from Westbank First Nation, the City of West Kelowna and the District of Peachland met Monday to discuss items of mutual interest at what is anticipated to be the first of many such council-to-council meetings.
"While each of our communities are unique, together we share a number of common issues which affect us all," said Chief Roxanne Lindley. "Discussing these important topics will help to ensure the health and well being of our Greater Westside. This is an important step in moving our collaborative relationship forward and in helping our Governments work together."
Discussions included the recent work by the communities to establish a Westside Situation Table, or HUB, a multi-agency response team that provides rapid intervention strategies to help those experiencing elevated risks of harm.
"I am very pleased to report that the energy in the room was fantastic, with each jurisdiction understanding that we are parts of a whole and that by working together, we can achieve so much," said West Kelowna Mayor Milsom. "Improving our relationships with our neighbours is one of Council's top priorities because together, our voices are stronger and most of the issues we face are common amongst us."
Those gathered also discussed mutual concerns related to power security with the recent announcement by BC Hydro that the second transmission line project will be delayed.
Homelessness, which is impacting all three communities, was also discussed.
"I am so encouraged to see how much we can accomplish when neighbours meet with neighbours to discuss our mutual interests and concerns," said Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin. "This is an important first step, and my Council and I look forward to many more collaborative approaches to the opportunities and challenges facing the Greater Westside."
All attendees agreed the meeting was very beneficial, opening the door for more council-to-council sessions in the future.