On the Economy

I believe in fulsome evidenced based budgeting. That means I will carefully and completely review all business cases for supplemental budget items and prioritize which supportable either in the upcoming budget or in subsequent years. I am proud of the way Council have been able to look for efficiencies and curtail spending but there are some real and predictable cost pressures.

We can anticipate some pressure from RCMP collective bargaining, CUPE contract renewal, hydro increases, ICBC premiums are going up, IAFF bargaining and the Employer Health Tax. We also need to maintain reserves and contingencies to deal with emergencies. Budgeting should not be a race to zero.

On the positive side of the ledger we need to attract business and industry and we need to embrace managed and orderly growth. Our business tax rates are competitive, but our industrial rates are not, and we need to continue to work with industry to find incentives that will keep them and their payroll in Kamloops. I believe that a healthy Kamloops economy is one that supports our traditional sectors as well as the emerging knowledge-based sectors.

Supporting growth in the health and university sector as well as small business, tourism, hospitality and tech focused enterprise will create a diversified economy which means a resilient economy.