Patrick Vance




    Question 1When development is guided by an Official Community Plan that features smart growth principles, it results in lower taxes for residents, less gridlock, cleaner air and lower GHG emissions, more green space, more housing options and preserved farmlands. Following smart growth principles results in new, high-density housing being built in the downtown and specified neighbourhood cores, enabling more sustainable and cost-effective transportation options. How will you advocate for smart growth principles in the upcoming OCP planning process?
    Patrick Vance
    • I will advocate for further densification and improvement in our existing residential zones, as well as working to ensure year-round transportation services are available to those who choose not to own or operate a vehicle. As an avid cyclist, I appreciate the recent developments that allow for dedicated pedestrian corridors and would like to see that coverage extended into all population zones to support increased use.

    • With regard to development, I would like to see an analysis and breakdown of the variances that have been granted and denied in the past, and see if there are any improvements that can be made to zoning regulations or bylaws for the sake of developmental and procedural efficiency. 

    • I want to see the most relevant smart growth principles explicitly emphasised in the bylaws and OCP, specifically: mixed land uses, compact building design, open space preservation, transportation availability, cost-effective development decisions, and stakeholder collaboration. When these principles are at play, I would not support variances that have an impact to diminish them.

    • Further to collaboration, I want to see the collaboration with our community become more robust and informative where possible. This collaboration effort should be proactive, targeted outreach rather than simply satisfying the requirement for availability and publication of information. A volunteer society designed to enhance and target recipients of meaningful, timely information could help assist the partnership between the City and community while alleviating the burden of staffing the outreach. This society could act as an impartial liaison between residents who will be impacted by development and the city.

    Question 2 - Vernon has created an ambitious new Climate Action Plan addressing both the reduction of GHG emissions and preparing the community for climate impacts, but unless Council backs it up with immediate, effective action, the goals of the plan won't be achieved. If elected, what aspects of this plan do you feel are most important and urgent, and how can you help to ensure that they are implemented as soon as possible?
    • Between mitigation and adaptation, I feel we must place a higher weight of the focus on planning for adaptation. While we can do our relative part in Vernon, we simply cannot presume the rest of the world will shoulder its fair burden as well. While I’m optimistic that the Paris Agreement, if adhered to, can bring positive results, there is no way for us to create a localised climate region that escapes the total global shift towards extreme weather events, and we should prepare for the worst. 

    • I feel the most important aspect of our contribution to global climate efforts (mitigation) is continuing forward with building developments that conform to standards for reducing GHGs, as well as focusing on the development of resilient infrastructure that acts as a support for all of the functions in our community. In addition to these, we can also work towards improving our practices at the household level through initiatives like the composting program, or energy efficient home features.

    Question 3 - What do you believe are the main risks to Vernon - its citizens, its infrastructure, its economy - from climate change impacts? What specific actions do you think the municipality should take to adapt to these risks and build a resilient community?
    • I find the increased heat projections to be alarming, and feel that we may need to consider and plan how we might have to rely on our lakes to supply water for local irrigation in drought situations (provided they don’t dry up). This will be further complicated by the fact that we live in a water-advantaged area, and could end up becoming producers for an area greater than our own if neighbouring communities cannot avail themselves of similar features.

    • In California the energy supply has recently been challenged during intense heat waves to the point of the government asking its citizens to reduce the amount of electricity they consume during certain periods. To me, this is a signpost that we must sensibly balance our growth into green initiatives like electric cars with the ability to support their sustained use in increasingly challenging climate scenarios. Initiatives like mass transit have the ability to reduce the instinctive approach to simply swap one gas vehicle for an electric vehicle. However, the ability to retain our freedom of movement must be preserved to make the option attractive (ie, expanded transit routes and hours to be inclusive of all lifestyles and work practices)

    • I think the challenges to infrastructure are drastically increased wear and breakdown of function. For example, it wasn’t long ago we saw heat to the extreme that sidewalk tiles were uprooting themselves and creating dangerous impediments to our pedestrian thoroughfares. The impact to our roads, pipes, and drainage have all been felt more in recent years.

    • I also think of the extreme stress that extreme weather places on our vulnerable citizens like senior citizens and the street entrenched. Dedicating cooling centres was a great initiative, as was the warming bus in the winter. I think we need to prepare to do more along these lines as the need will certainly increase in time.

    Question 4 - The largest proportion of Okanagan municipal greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation (in particular, driving fossil-fuel powered vehicles), and the 2nd largest proportion comes from buildings. What do you see as the most effective ways of reducing the emissions in these two sectors?
    • For transportation, enhancement of mass transit availability is key. Nobody will make the jump unless the service is comprehensive to all of their needs.

    • For the more distant future, I envision an intelligent software solution integrated with our personal phones and devices that could one day relieve the necessity of having all routes serviced on a fixed schedule. I often see buses travelling empty, which doesn’t speak of reduced emissions to me. Smaller vehicles that could respond to app alerts of consumers awaiting pickup in more remote areas could make trips more targeted and efficient, thereby reducing emissions further and creating a better service for users.

    • For buildings, using energy efficient materials and construction designs which reduce ongoing costs and energy output should be used. We should be exploring how to support options like geothermal heating. It offers a step away from fossil fuel heating systems that lead to greater GHG emissions.



    Question 1 - The RDNO has recently developed a North Okanagan Regional Housing Strategy. Which actions of this strategy would you prioritise, and how would you implement them?
    • I would prioritise the support, promotion, and protection of rental housing. We need places for people to live in order to have a healthy and growing economy. The exodus of landlords from long term rentals to the AirBnB model is a signal that there is need for greater protection afforded to rental owners of their investment assets. With so much demand pressure for long term rentals, the temptation for landlords to increase their price in an escalating market creates a situation that verges on profiteering.

    • I would also seek ways to reduce barriers to developing and securing affordable housing. One way is to assess and address the developer relations with the City and remove pain points. Another way is to explore the options of having workforce housing secured and provided by employers as an investment in their labour force as an asset.

    Question 2 - Across Canada, First Nations and municipalities are strengthening their regions by collaborating on service agreements, land use planning and economic development. What efforts have you made in the past, and what efforts will you make to build powerful new relationships based on mutual respect, understanding and a common vision for mutual prosperity with the Okanagan Indian Band?
    • I embrace the need for these relationships to be maintained in good faith while respecting the cultural needs and beliefs of the respective parties to such collaborations. I have had positive exposure and interactions with First Nations stakeholders and partner groups in the educational system and non profit sector, and am ready to represent the interests of Vernon residents while holding to the highest ethical principles during these collaborations.

    Question 3 - In August of 2020 Council unanimously passed the following motion: “THAT the City of Vernon, including Council and Administration, firmly rejects racist acts of all types, and supports each individual who chooses to make Vernon home, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed or socioeconomic condition." The motion did not indicate what this support might look like, especially for minority groups. How would you rectify this? Specifically, would you follow the lead of other communities in the Okanagan and vote to adopt the anti racism policy already drafted by City lawyers? More broadly what types of programs, initiatives, and actions would you endorse or be a part of to ensure that Vernon is a welcoming place for all “regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed or socioeconomic condition”?
    • I would have voted in favour of the policy, regardless of how comfortable I was with my own beliefs and attitudes regarding racism. The creation and adoption of the policy that prescribes and prohibits specific behaviour creates an ironclad social safety structure where simple verbal assurances may not have the same effect. 

    • I have never held racist beliefs, but to be fully authentic and honest, I must admit I’ve spoken in ways that would be considered racist.  I contented myself at the time that it was only the product of humour, popular culture, or was simply the recital of lyrics to music I enjoyed and purchased, but the things I said could have had the capacity to cause pain for others, and I recognise that now.  While fortunate that I never did any damage to anyone’s feelings, I am nonetheless ashamed of the ignorance I once embodied, I feel that my growth as an individual is a lesson I can share with my children and with people in the community.

    • And further, I recognise that the work to address racism, or bigotry and discrimination in any form, is not done when I’m satisfied it’s done. I feel the work is done when the last human with a memory of feeling diminished by discrimination fades from life into history. 

    • In the present, our work as leaders must focus on ensuring that every single resident feels confident that no barrier exists to their fair and equal treatment in our society and community.



    Question 1 - What opportunities do you believe the municipality has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
    • I have seen how effective heritage can be when it’s championed in our schools, but it takes a dedicated and passionate public servant like my daughter’s teacher in Mission Hill. His efforts to bring that vibrancy to life and connect the students with the value of heritage are extremely effective, but these successes are not exactly commonplace.  When people can connect their life story to their heritage and the heritage of the area they live in, life becomes more meaningful. The work to bring the heritage of these Syilx lands to the forefront needs to go beyond the land acknowledgements that many people may practice only as a form of lip service.

    • We have many opportunities to showcase and share the diversity of our cultures and origins.  People from all walks of life, coming from all the 4 corners of the planet, call Vernon home; we need to make sure everyone feels welcomed and safe.  Having a way for all of us to come together to explore the diversity of these cultures while also having a way for us to share the common ground of shared beliefs and attitudes will pave the way for a more harmonious community. This could take place in designated cultural centres, or be brought about by events that coincide with the respective cultural practices.

    Question 2 - What do you think of the 2016 Greater Vernon Cultural Plan? What aspects would you prioritise and how would you implement them?
    • I think it’s a great plan. It’s really comprehensive, and what speaks to me the most is the idea of the culturally vibrant and connected public realm. Where we reach understandings of each other as individuals, as peoples, as a community, is where we grow into our best versions of ourselves.

    • I think fostering collaboration and partnerships is a truly important piece of this, as well. Collaboration is my happy place.  There is nothing quite as satisfying to me as being a part of something that leads to many people or parties being able to claim ownership of a single meaningful thing or idea.

    Question 3 - How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Greater Vernon?
    • One of the boards I serve is O’Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society. I’ve taken an active and attentive role in the promotion and discussion of cultural and artistic events in the community, including local businesses, prominent artistic community members, community podcasts, and community art endeavours.

    • Under the Instagram name of Aerogeist Productions I am a drone photographer and videographer and have routinely donated my creative and artistic editing services to make promotional videos for non-profits that do not, or cannot, allocate resources to advertising and promotion.



    Question 1 - Please provide examples of the ways you would support business retention and expansion in the City of Vernon.
    • Businesses need to feel supported and heard by their council, especially with emerging concerns and challenges. I would seek to ensure zoning of expansion areas is to purpose and conforms to the needs of the OCP and their respective regions in order to maximize long term potential.

    Question 2 - Over 40% of businesses in every sector are experiencing labour shortages. How should the City support businesses in meeting their workforce needs?
    • That’s a tough one for me to answer. One effort I’ve recently become aware of locally is to attract retirees who may wish to work casually to assist with provision of services.  Another way I can think of is to make moving here more attractive, and that will likely hinge in large part on improving the affordable housing situation. Also, the promotion and support of workforce housing could be a means of attracting and enabling an influx of labour.

    Question 3How should the City support emerging and growing information technology, and manufacturing sectors including agriculture products processing?
    • In every way possible. 

    • Information technology continues to be the dominant emerging commercial landscape. With food prices on the rise for people, and livestock feed costs drastically increasing in the background, agricultural products are extremely important in ensuring local economic activity, capitalizing on regional agricultural opportunities, and addressing food production capability.

    Question 4 - How should the City assist businesses in the medium term (3-5 years) to become more resilient?
    • I suppose it depends on what kind of resiliency is being discussed…

    • Businesses require resiliency to emerging market challenges, and the model of self-sufficiency within the community (shopping local) is an underpinning to this facet of resiliency. I admit I do not have any concrete ideas how the City would or could assist with that. Perhaps the City could incentivise businesses who act as community partners with reduced business fees, but I don’t know how that would be established or measured, or if it’s even possible. I feel that I need to learn more about ways municipal governments support and assist businesses for this purpose.

    • Businesses also require resilience to threats like theft and damage, and the City could work with businesses to employ stronger deterrents to this type of criminal behaviour. Perhaps businesses that lack security structures could be brought together for a larger purchase that offers some savings, and the city could help offset those costs with a grant, or temporarily with a loan. The savings would come with decreased need for police attendance to these types of crime.



    Question 1 -What would you do to protect the health of members of our community who have been made vulnerable to the effects of climate change?
    • As I mentioned earlier, the initiatives for public cooling and warming amenities are very valuable in providing relief to vulnerable people in need during extreme weather events.

    • Additionally, the communication channels of the City can be utilised to seek and solicit community support for things that provide comfort and sustenance.

    • Additionally, the City could explore options to help prepare their homes to be more resilient to climate challenges through subsidy or other assistance. I say this in appraising the cost of risking lives lost as being unacceptable costs to our community.

    Question 2 - What do you believe is the municipality's role in enabling and assisting ministries and non-profits as they address mental and physical health treatment issues and access, in populations affected by houselessness and the toxic drug supply? How might the municipality address the stigma that prevents people facing these challenges from seeking health services?
    • The City should actively maintain relationships with ministries and NPOs in order to further their work in the most expedient and efficient manner.  Again, the communication channels of the City should be used to inform the public of the benefits of such endeavours.

    • To address stigma, the City can do a better job of putting a human face on the plight of those who are marginalized by addiction or mental health issues through a meaningful awareness campaign. The municipality can also facilitate the connection between families and individuals who want to support or sponsor, either emotionally or materially, people who are marginalized.

    • From my point of view, the biggest challenge I see in helping the street entrenched and people who are marginalised by addiction and homelessness is a loss of belief in themselves. It is not possible for a human to change their course in life without this fundamental belief, and I think if more people in our community could look past what they believe is the self-inflicted cause of another person’s marginalisation, and instead focus on the hope for a better future for both the person and the community they live in, we could begin to see real change. 

    • I speak from some experience, as I had spent years as a heavy cocaine user and came close to accidentally ending my life as a result of it. It was only my good fortune that my father was in my life and had enough love in his heart to help see me through to restoring my sense of self value and wellness.

    • Not everyone is so lucky to have my dad. (Dad if you’re reading this, I love you)

    • We need real compassion and patience, and a belief that we *Can* help restore people to wholeness if we give them the chance to move beyond their lows. But it will take a community. No one person can do it. Nor can just a few. If we attempt to take this on *together* then we can make a real difference and elevate people from their belief that misery is their only destiny. In doing so, we can reach new levels of belief in ourselves. But let’s start coming together now and making a plan, because the City can only do so much, and it’s not just the City that desperately wants to see a better future for all of us. If we can start to change how our city looks, maybe other cities will follow suit. As a City councillor, I’ll be among the first to assume the risks inherent in bridging the divide between the worlds of the homed and the worlds of the homeless, but anyone who votes for me must accept a share of the duty to attempt this.  

    Question 3 - How will you ensure that our Parks & Recreation facilities and programs meet the diverse needs of our population?
    • My basic approach is through collaboration with user groups and applying a fair division of use. 

    • One critical component is assessing which lenses of diversity are under being used. Our community has diversity in its age demographic, ethnicity, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, physical ability, health, dietary needs, and more dimensions that I will inevitably regret failing to recall. Overall, parks and facilities should be of equal and fair access to all residents of our community, and the programs should not favour any identifiable group more than another if all other considerations are equal.