British Columbia

Colin Basran wins in Kelowna, Ken Christian also re-elected mayor in Kamloops

Victor Cumming is the new mayor of Vernon while John Vassilaki won in Penticton.

Victor Cumming is the new mayor of Vernon while John Vassilaki won in Penticton

Ken Christian was a Kamloops city councillor for six years before being elected as mayor in a byelection in October 2017.


Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was re-elected after beating Bobby Kennedy, Bob Schewe and Tom Dyas.

Basran won 56 per cent of the vote, defeating Dyas by nearly 9,000 votes.

Homelessness, development, housing and inclusiveness were all election issues for the largest city in B.C.'s southern Interior, which boasts four-season recreation and a high quality of life for residents.

Kelowna is one of Canada's fastest growing cities. From 2001 to 2011 its population jumped from 96,288 to 127,380, according to the provincial government. But that surge has come with growing pains around housing and crime.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran defeated Sharon Shepherd in 2014 with nearly 57 per cent of the vote. (Colin Basran/Facebook)

Basran swept to victory four years ago with a slick, pro-business campaign with backing from the progressive tech industry.

Dyas, the immediate past-president of the Chamber of Commerce, had promised a return to the Okanagan's more conservative roots — a no-nonsense, tax-cutting, small businessman reminiscent of the valley's Socred past.

Kelowna has eight council seats and seven of them were claimed by incumbents Maxine DeHart, Gail Given, Luke Stack, Brad Sieben, Mohini Singh, Charlie Hodge, and Ryan Donn.

Loyal Wooldridge is the only new person elected to council.


Mayor Ken Christian was re-elected mayor of Kamloops defeating challenger William James Turnbull.

Christian won by taking close to 84 per cent of the vote.

Christian won a by-election last October, when Peter Milobar resigned after being elected in May 2017 as the MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson.

Housing and development were campaign issues along with liveability problems, such as finding a family doctor in the city of more than 90,000 people.

Kamloops had the distinction of having the first government-run recreational cannabis store, which opened on Wednesday.

Kamloops has eight council seats and they were won by Arjun Singh (incumbent), Kathy Sinclair (incumbent), Mike O'Reilly, Dieter Dudy (incumbent), Dale Bass, Denis J. Walsh (incumbent), Sadie Hunter and Bill Sarai.


Victor Cumming is the new mayor of Vernon.

He defeated Darrin Taylor 4,928 votes to 3,608.

Akbal Mund did not seek re-election as mayor, but a council seat instead, which he won.

The city has six councillors. The others elected are: Brian Quiring (incumbent), Scott Anderson (incumbent), Dalvir Nahal (incumbent), Kari Gares, and Kelly Fehr.

Vernon's new mayor and councillors will be tasked with dealing with street crime and homelessness in the city, which local business owners say is a problem.

In the summer, city council voted to ban shopping carts on public property in an attempt to deal with law-and-order issues in its downtown. Council then reversed the decision in September, saying it most likely violated Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Vernon has a population of around 48,000 people and is the hub of the north Okanagan region, celebrating its 125 birthday in 2017. In September, officials cut the ribbon on a brand new recreation facility — Kal Tire Place North.

On Saturday, residents also voted in a referendum that asked if they support borrowing up to $25 million to build a new cultural centre in downtown Vernon. Most candidates running for mayor and council supported the project.

The new council will also look at improving city infrastructure and preparing for the risks of floods and wildfire risk. The city has also asked residents to stop feeding marmots that have overtaken a hill near the new rec centre. 


John Vassilaki defeated current mayor Andrew Jakubeit in Penticton. 

Vassilaki received more than 5,000 votes, while Jason Cox was second with 2,600. Jakubeit was third with 2,564.

Affordable housing and homelessness continue to be a problem in the sunny, southern Interior municipality. Vacancy rates hover around one per cent.

City council will also look to recover from its handling of a botched park development project.

Penciton city council wanted to replace Skaha Lake Park with a waterslide development in 2015 but eventually scrapped the plan at a cost of $200,000 — money paid to the developer to break the contract.

Penticton has six council seats and they were claimed by: Jake Kimberly, Campell Watt (incumbent), Frank Regehr, Julius Bloomfield, Katie Robinson and Judy Sentes (incumbent).


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