How does my platform help seniors?
With an aging population when we look forward as a community we cannot forget about those who built what we have inherited. For that reason when creating my platform I not only thought of those generations who we are building a better tomorrow for but ensuring that we are going to provide the necessities for our elders so they can stay in our community and can stay active within their own community. When I was considering things like infrastructure from sidewalks to public facilities I thought what do we have? What needs to be changed and what could be done differently? When working on my platform I tried to approach it with as much common sense as possible.
Like many communities we have some accessibility issues. From uneven sidewalks to lack of accessible parking or crosswalk curbs with raised lips and hard to access public buildings. When working on my platform these were all considerations I took into account when I was looking at things like sidewalk maintenance programs or long term planning in parks where we have a lack of accessibility paths for people with mobility issues. No one should have to not attend a Princeton Posse game because they fear that they won’t be able to get up into the stands or into the mezzanine or even worse if they can’t get up to the front door. These are all issues and concerns that have played a part in the development of my positions on everything from Recreation to future development of the downtown.
This leads us into recreation. Recreation for seniors isn’t thought of as often as recreation for youth yet seniors are more active than ever. One of the things I want to see done is have the recreation department become more active again. I want to see activities planned and the Riverside Centre used for more things. The centre has a gym that sits empty most days, with an increase in the recreation department I would like to see activities directed not only at youth and after school programs but to seniors with low impact aerobics, yoga and many other activities that will not only allow for seniors to maintain a health active lifestyle but have the opportunity to be social.
Affordable housing is a big issue for Princeton and not only for families but for seniors as well. One of the first jobs a new council will need to do is look at finding ways to increase housing through a number of avenues including zoning and increase the ability for higher density in our downtown area. This will allow for some apartments or even assisted living. One of the plans currently is to build a new pool on the old Overweightea lot. Although I understand a lot of why this is happening I have not been convinced looking at the financials that this pool will work. What I propose instead for that area is a senior’s living complex of some sort on the property. This would be a great location close to downtown amenities, while allowing future growth of commercial down the road on the old Burr motors lot. This of course would mean that the pool would have to go somewhere else. Using this lot for housing rather than recreation puts community busing a block away, the local taxi is currently across the street and shopping is within walking distance. The lot is large enough that it would also allow for some green space that will enhance the living experience as well.
On the subject of transportation I strongly believe that access to health care within and outside our community is a key priority and as such a transportation link is a must. The next council will need to work to find transportation links to the Okanagan for trips to Kelowna if it is through the Regional District’s Penticton to Kelowna plan or another and we need a link to Vancouver. This will take some phone calls, negotiation and some hard works as we try to convince a carrier to come through Princeton or have a link up in Merritt as they travel through on their way from Kamloops to Vancouver. It is not impossible and I believe with the right people in place we can make this a reality.
Health care is so important for the community. Princeton is in a much better place than when we started only a few years ago but this does not mean that we can stop or put our guard down. We need to maintain the services we have and the doctor levels we currently have. We also need to work with Interior Health, the Ministry and if possible maybe Universities so we can become a training centre for rural medicine in BC. We need to think outside the box when it comes to the future of health care in Princeton. We have had dedicated doctors, volunteers and community members who continue to work to move us forward this is an area that the next council needs to continue to champion as we move forward.
Lastly I have committed in my platform to a number of committees including a Mayor’s advisory committee this is an all-encompassing committee designed to bring feedback and advice to the Mayor. There would be a seat at that committee to represent the seniors of Princeton. With the council portfolio positions I strongly believe that the Council should have a liaison between the organizations in town and themselves so that the Council understands the needs, wants and concerns of the community. One portfolio position will be a liaison to the Seniors Branch so that the concerns of the senior’s community of Princeton will be relayed to the council.