By MEL ROTHENBURGER
Director, Electoral Area P, TNRD
Kamloops needs to up its game when it comes to consultation with stakeholders — especially rural areas — on its official community plan.
At this week’s TNRD board meeting, City planner Jason Locke attended to tell the board about progress on a KamPlan update and explain how it aligns with the TNRD’s Regional Growth Strategy.
In reading over the draft plan, I saw that there was consultation with stakeholders including Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. It also includes a statement of commitment to local and regional First Nations communities to collaborate.
That’s entirely appropriate but surrounding rural areas were left out of discussions. Even though the new KamPlan is in its final stages, this week was the first time it’s been discussed with the TNRD board.
Locke said on the one hand that the purpose of his presentation was simply to provide the board with information, but at the same time said it was to ask for input.
I pointed out that four TNRD electoral areas, including Area P, are immediately next door to the city and are affected by city planning. I suggested it would have been easy to include these electoral areas directly in earlier discussions.
KamPlan does include a section on alignment with the Regional Growth Strategy and Locke said the city was doing what it was required to do.
“I was thinking not so much about what you are required to do, but about effective consultation,” I said.
Director Ronaye Elliott, whose Area J is also immediately adjacent to the city, agreed that so-called “fringe” areas need to be consulted.
Kamloops director Arjun Singh, who sits on the City’s KamPlan committee, said he’s willing to offer opportunities in future to discuss it with rural representatives.