Kelowna mayor defends use of executive privilege

The Mayor of Kelowna is defending his use of executive privilege after a controversial residential development was approved by council.

On Monday, Mayor Colin Basran asked councillors to reconsider a six-and-a-half storey building for South Pandosy to be constructed by Vineyard Developments. It is only the second time Basran has exercised his executive powers.

"Pandosy is a town centre. This is where we're going to have to direct a large portion of our future growth. It had staff approval, or support of approval, the fact that it meets many of the objectives we're trying to achieve in terms of the future community we're building." said Basran.

"I thought that it was worthy of reconsideration from that standpoint."

In the absence of Councillor Ryan Donn, the project was initially defeated by a split council vote. This time around, councillors voted 5-4 to approve the development.

Following the decision, it was reported the owner of Vineyard Developments, Craig Mohr, contributed $1,200 to Basran's 2018 election campaign. Mohr was one of 41 individuals who made the maximum allowable campaign contribution to Basran's camp.

"I hadn't even known that until it was pointed out by another media outlet, but I can appreciate how some will want to make that an issue. Particularly those who are opposed to the project"

Basran also maintains he has voted against projects involving his campaign donors in the past.