Candidates in the Sept. 30 Kamloops civic by-election are invited to make submissions to ArmchairMayor.ca on their platforms, biographical information, contact information or specific issues. Please keep them to 550 words or less. The following is from candidate for councillor Nancy Bepple:
I’m Nancy Bepple, and I’m running to be your city councillor in the September 30, City of Kamloops by-election. I was elected two times to council, in 2008 and 2011. I want to work with others to make Kamloops better.
But what does better mean?
First, in Kamloops, two-thirds (2/3) of people are between 15 and 64 years old. Jobs are important. I’ve worked with thousands of students at TRU, helping them get jobs. Their top request is to stay in Kamloops.
Kamloops needs jobs, especially for our youth. But, there is almost no vacant light industrial land available in the city. Manufacturing, transportation, logistics and other companies can’t locate or grow here.
It’s City council’s job to ensure land is available, by working with developers and other levels of government to build roads and utilities. Iron Mask would be an ideal location for a new industrial park. But it won’t happen without strong voices on council, like mine, who want it to happen.
Second, many, many people in Kamloops have limited mobility or require a care aid. We’ve come a long way, but many people in Kamloops struggle to get around. Just across the street from Prince Charles Park’s accessible playground, the sidewalks have no sidewalk cuts for wheelchairs.
People with an opposite gender care aide have to go to the far reaches of the 3rd floor area of Sandman Place arena for a gender neutral washroom. Around town, city infrastructure are barriers for people with a disability.
I got into politics because of my volunteer work with seniors. During my time on council before, I was a strong advocate for seniors and people with disabilities. I fought for and got automated doors on city buildings, including Sandman Place. Seniors and people with limited mobility need a voice. I want to be that voice again.
Third, there are still far too many people without a doctor in Kamloops. A few new doctors have arrived, but we are still short 25 doctors or more. I’ve talked to many families who have given up hope they’ll ever have a doctor.
Other municipalities, such as Sun Peaks and Parksville, have taken an active role in recruiting healthcare providers. Kamloops council has nothing to lose, and people in our city have much to gain, by being more outspoken.
We should not sit back and hope others will solve the problem. City Council needs to be at the table. I have been, and I will continue to be a strong voice to get more doctors and other primary health care providers in Kamloops.
I’m Nancy Bepple, and I bring the experience of being a strong advocate. I want to be your voice on council again.