This Kelowna group shows residents what local government does and doesn’t do | infonews

Kelowna Councilman Loyal Wooldridge will be on hand for a North Okanagan Labor Council event on Sunday to help potential council candidates learn the ropes.

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April 20, 2022 – 06:00

If the excitement around a special municipal election “viewing” event in Kelowna bears fruit, the idea could be rolled out across the region.

The North Okanagan Labor Council is hosting the Okanagan’s first “Community Vision Conference” on Sunday.

“We haven’t done this in the Okanagan, but it’s very common in Vancouver,” labor council vice president Kelly Hutchinson told “It’s very effective. Our labor council represents a wider region and, if popular, we can set it up in other cities as well.

It has already attracted about 45 interested attendees, including some former council candidates.

The main focus of the 90 minute event will be the ‘visioning’ exercise.

Participants will be randomly assigned to tables and asked to suggest “green” and “red” items that they think should be addressed by the next council, which will be elected on October 15.

“Each table will come up with two or three green items, which are basically things they want to see on the next board, and two or three red items, which are things they don’t want to see on the next board or they want see less,” Hutchinson said.

Participants will vote on the items to come up with key recommendations.

“A lot of people may have things in mind that aren’t necessarily within the city’s control, closures and so on,” Hutchinson said. “Part of the exercise is getting people to understand what the city can actually do and what they can’t.”

For those wishing to run for council, there will be information on what is required to run for office, how to get involved in political action and a toolkit will be provided on seeking labor council endorsements.

READ MORE: Thinking of running in the municipal elections this fall? Time is not on your side

Kelowna County Loyal Wooldridge will be on hand to answer questions about the election process and the role of council. He was the only new councilor elected in 2018 and is now chair of the Central Okanagan Regional District.

While 45 people have put their names on the attendance list so far, Hutchinson expects that will translate to 60 attendees. The hall, at the Parkinson Recreation Centre, can accommodate 100 people, but the forum will work best with 50 to 60 participants.

There is no deadline to register, but pre-registration is encouraged by visiting the Labor Council website, here.

It operates from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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