Summerland Economics & Municipal Election Official Discussion Page

Welcome to this community discussion page.  Comments are welcome and encouraged.
Congratulations to each and every one who lets their name stand as a candidate.  You can see the list of people seeking your votes here:

BTW for those who don’t know me and my “humor”, you may wonder how I have the audacity to call this an “official” discussion page.  My answer is: why not?  If someone cares to point to “an” official discussion page, or a “more” official discussion page, I will respectfully remove my claim to this being an official discussion page!  Meantime, please enjoy the conversations of friendly people in a beautiful small town looking for economic sustainability, viability, inventiveness, creativity and so on.

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20 Responses to Summerland Economics & Municipal Election Official Discussion Page

  1. Don Gemmell says:

    While Canada has the best capability of any country to feed the 7 billion people on this planet, agriculture in Canada is in decline. Canada’s policies toward food production on not focussed on the future and are not in line with the opportunities to feed the world. This is the opinion on a recent report on agriculture in Canada.
    Even in a place like Summerland, that not only has a long history of agriculture, has a farmer owned primary food processing facility, has a world reknowned agricultural science research facility, agriculture is in decline. If farmers own the local primary food processing plant, how can they even entertain the loss of its potential to provide them and the community with better returns? Because farmers are aging, less willing to innovate or transfer their holdings to new blood.
    At the all candidates event, not one candidate, non even those with experience in the industry talked about the potential or opportunities for economic development from agriculture. It was left to the youngest candidate to even discuss exploration of opportunities. Donna Wright was the only candidate that even acknowledged tourism as a local industry. No candidate spoke of the real economic growth through viticulture. As a matter of fact, the best responses to all the questions seemed to come from the youngest candidates. Some of the poorest responses came from some of the longest reigning incumbents. Compare the average age of council with that of SCEDT. Change on council will be needed to look beyond the irritations of permit processing. Name, duration on council and knowledge of the issues are not necessarily the best qualification for my vote.

  2. PMurphy says:

    Attended the All Candidates forum last night. Congratulations to SCEDT for an excellent effort. Chamber President Clausen did a first class job at moderating and especially, teaming up with Lisa Jaager, keeping things moving at a pretty good pace!

    Congratulations also to the candidates for their willingness to stand. For more, click this:

  3. Rocky Balboa says:

    Yes, small business employs more people in any sector, but let’s be a bit more specific here… small businesses are classified as having up to 500 employees! Would argue we have an abundance of micro-businesses here, and that’s about it.

    Summerland CANNOT provide the same services, prices and values as our nearby larger cities, and we shouldn’t aspire to do that.

    Make it easier to get to these larger cities for our seniors and younger families! How about a reliable transit system… was a hot topic a couple of years ago and fell off the agenda.

    Agree that agriculture should be our first priority… converting it into a ‘Granville-esque’ market (to create economic growth) is rediculous. Shouldn’t our farmers have first access to the equipment and space if it were to become available? How about a manufacturing company? Such a waste of space.

    In summary… make it appealing and enjoyable to live here, the people will come.

  4. Toni Boot says:

    Hope to see lots (and lots!) of people at the All Candidates Debate for school trustees and municipal council. Tuesday, November 8 at Centre Stage. Doors open at 6 pm; discussion begins at 6:30 with candidates for school trustee positions taking the stage first.
    If you want candidates to present their views on a specific topic, don’t forget to submit your question to SCEDT in advance of the meeting!

  5. PMurphy says:

    I think Don is quite right about “Summerland is still a small town.” I think also that the choice of candidates is as important as ever before for the town. And, also, super important that candidates intentions are made very clear in advance.

    There will be only one chance that I am aware of to do so…and that is the Chamber sponsored all candidates forum. It is unclear, however, as to why the Chamber feels they must pre screen or pre select the submitted questions in advance.

    And, more importantly, since this is the ONLY forum (again, that I am aware of)…then the biggest question is who at SCEDT actually DOES the screening of questions?

    Is it the board of directors? Is it staff members? Would be interested to know how this is handled by SCEDT.

    One thing I do know is that there is an awful lot riding on this election with regards to the economic future of the community, or as Don rightly says this small town.

  6. Don Gemmell says:

    I am looking forward to learning more about the views and visions of our candidates for municipal council and school board. Summerland is still a small town. For the most part we already know quite a bit about our candidates and so with such a good selection, the contest should be very interesting. What Summerland does not need is some quasi political group disturbing the process with block endorsements. People that participate in such groups surely lack the confidence or moral courage to run for office themselves.

  7. Toni Boot says:

    Great Conversation Cafe last night* and it was good to see some of the folks running for council and school trustee seat there. But where were the rest of the people who want to make a ‘difference’ in Summerland or a ‘change’ in Summerland? BTW, I’m in the second group: Summerland needs to change. How? In whatever ways we can to become more self-sustainable.
    (* Hosted by Summerland Community Cultural Development Committee)
    If we can attract and retain small businesses here, we will see change, we will see a difference. Small business employs more people in Canada than any other sector. There will always be those who prefer to spend the time and money (fuel) to save a few bucks at Wal-Mart but if we can offer products and services in Summerland combined with service and value — we’re on our way.
    We live in one of the best agricultural areas in BC. So we don’t grow bananas, avocado and other items grown in the tropics. We DO grow countless of other things and companies like Summerland Sweets, Caracajou and others are where it’s at, in my opinion. Let’s build on that. We all need food to survive: wouldn’t support for our growers, farmers’ markets, value-added agribusinesses, estate wineries, etc. be a given in an attempt to transition to self-sustainability and affordability?
    One last thought. The idea of resurrecting the packinghouse into a Granville Island-style market is superb. I’m confident the folks leading this ‘campaign’ have the creativity, energy and strategies to pull it off! Let me be your first tenant!

  8. It’s all about vision and leadership.
    Let’s change the question from:
    “Have all the requirements been met, are the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, will this (business, building, venture etc.) ever cause anyone in the future any potential problem?”
    “What can we do to help to make this (business, building, venture etc.) work?”
    This change requires an openness and willingness to look for solutions. It takes creative thinking.

  9. PMurphy says:

    So, a bit of a conundrum as to whether to post an item that is obviously an alias…yeah, its posted, but let’s not make it a habit, and for sure, offensive stuff aint gonna get posted. Just glad Don Cherry & Kevin O’leary have not tried to post here thus far.
    Anyway, appreciate all the input, and now that we know who is running for what and who is not…let’s get the discussion ramped up now! There’s a topic posted on this website under “seriously fresh” that should be of interest…and you may want to also check out the facebook page for the chamber or Patrick Murphy as well.

  10. Rocky Balboa says:

    Candidates and motivation will be the same… some to keep busy, some to self-serve their personal agenda, and rarely, some who strive to make a ‘difference’ (note: I did not say ‘change’ here).

    Summerland doesn’t need change… it’s a perfect place to raise a family and grow old.
    We have great schools, beautiful properties, community…

    It is not a perfect place to do business (dare I say)… unless of course you are the pharma/medicine/funeral home service type. Why try to change this?

    Think bringing a new manufacturer to Summerland is a smart choice when considering global competitive factors and local factors such as freight and gas costs?… Forget about it. It’s cheaper for an east coast customer to import from Europe than it is to freight product from Summerland. That’s the world we live in these days. Accept it.

    Think a buy local approach is a cure-all? See above. I’ll buy from the stores that pass along the least amount of these additional costs… and while that doesn’t support the local micro-economy, it keeps me living here affordably and able to save enough money to put my kids through college.

    Let’s push our incoming blue-haired councillors push for regular transit to (and from) the new Okanagan College in Penticton, straight through Cherry lane, then to the hospital. Why? Because 30% of people retiring in the prairie provinces over the next 5 years plan to move to BC. Do we want them to consider Summerland? YES. Give them what they need. Reliable, safe transportation to services… give them options. Give them a great place to buy a home and live independantly. Boomers bring $$. Think about it. This is our ‘target market’… this is our business!

    Let’s see an emphasis on culture and acceptance. A few years ago we physically drove down to Vancouver and brought 60 immigrant business owners through the Okanagan. They loved everything about the Okanagan… 8 of them ended up relocating. It was an amazing way of doing something different for our community with a tangible impact.

    Finally, support our farmers. There is a new way to do business in the fruit business. Co-op packing houses have gone the way of the dinosaur. Multi-service orchardists (grow/pack/wholesale) are becoming the norm and is the only way to compete…
    With a 100% increase in profit margin ($0.15 per pound versus $0.32/pound – apples), let’s see these savings passed along to customers and push the US fruit products south of the border (our apples are a premium quality product!)

    Yo Adrian!

  11. Bill Hibberd says:

    It’s easy to just toss in ideas and dreams and hard to actually contribute to the challenge of making change but;

    Couldn’t S’land build a facility (perhaps within the Wharton St complex) to house working artist studios, work with existing arts organizations to attract both professional artists and hobby artists to regular events for workshops and exhibitions. Make Summerland a recognised center for visual arts to the growing millions of artists searching for accessible places of learning. People spend billions a year on just these kind of activities. I’m sure the same is true for writers. For every successful writer there are thousands who happily attend workshop weekends and competitions to improve their skills.

    Is it feasible to provide tax incentives or whatever it would take to attract video gaming startups to S’land? I’m probably naive but can’t we get the bandwidth and real estate together for even one company. I have family in this industry and it has many benefits; highly paid and creative young people, clean industry with a likelihood of growing a new crop of baby s’landers which we desperately need.

    Best wishes to all those candidates willing to put you lives into the process. Please, some of you find ways to attract “big” business and not more of the same. I love coffee and ice cream too but …………..

  12. Connie Denesiuk says:

    Well…today’s the deadline for filing nomination papers. I’m eagerly waiting to see the candidates we will have to choose from.

  13. Donna Henningson says:

    Re council election, I’d like to see more women candidates.. Also more focus on the “process” of making things happen (ie – love the community cafe concept. I know the topics are to get more focused as the organizing group goes along.) Re talk of adding jobs, include the entire community not just the business community. Others have ideas for jobs, too. Don’t shut people out, or assume they don’t. They may just need help to bring it to fruition. (And back to process and collaboration we go…)

  14. PMurphy says:

    “Barbershops, beauty salons, restaurants and car washes have sprung up across Cuba in the year since the Communist Party allowed citizens to open small, private businesses in an effort to save the country from ruin.

    The government says more than 157,000 people have qualified for business permits and are currently self-employed. This new generation of Cuban entrepreneurs is quietly reshaping the island’s stagnant revolution in a way that was inconceivable when Fidel Castro was in control. ”

    That is a quote from a Globe & Mail article. Cuba did not need to “attract” these businesses….Cuba needed Castro to get out of the way, and voila…job creators were able to….create jobs and open businesses!

  15. PMurphy says:

    Well, I just called it official! But, yes, will be so exciting as Summerland turns the corner to become attractive and inviting to small business. And a re-energized business community is my cherished dream for this town. I would put a small fine point on this, however: I believe S’land is already attractive and inviting…we just need to focus on not REPELLING those who DO find it attaractive and inviting!

  16. Connie Denesiuk says:

    Official discussion page for the upcoming Municipal elections? Great – Let’s start talking!
    Let’s elect school trustees who put students first, second and third. Pretty simple.
    And with regards to council – Our town needs to be attractive and inviting to small busines. After all, as Clarence Louie so eloquently says – the economic horse pulls the social cart. Jobs and tax revenue will flow from a re-energized business community. The easier and more affordable we make it for businesses to set up shop in Summerland, the sooner we will begin to see recovery.

  17. PMurphy says:

    So, now I read that the SCEDT is requesting a LONGER season opening for the municipal owned campground! Because many of the 180,000 visitors to the area come with trailers! Where is this information coming from? That kinda contradicts what was before council!

  18. PMurphy says:

    Municipal council last night heard from a Summerland Tourism business seeking to rezone to multi family because, in part at least, the Tourism business is so weak. So, my question was: 1) since this is a tourism business and 2) rezoning would normally result in an economic development opportunity…did the Summerland Chamber of ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and TOURISM have any comment or input on this community decision?

  19. PMurphy says:

    So…you’re not gonna vote, huh! just kidding. Surely SOMEone will run who uses twitter?

  20. Nick Yeoman says:

    The main issue that is relevant to me in this election, is the upkeep and expansion of parks/playgrounds/beaches.

    However, I’ll probably just vote for whoever is “social” enough to have a twitter account.

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