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Young Families and Seniors are Equally Important to our Community, and to EACH OTHER

YOUNG FAMILES…please get out to vote, because…

Young Families and Seniors/Retirees are Equally Important to our Community, and to EACH OTHER

(PLEASE SHARE on your social media accounts.)

You may have heard me speak a lot about the importance of young families to our community. I have also been an advocate for seniors. Both age groups are VITAL to our community, and to each other.

In a past election, I said I would shout from the rooftops to get affordable seniors housing here, and we are now about to begin construction on our second affordable seniors housing building. I have been on the Seniors Support Society for the last eight-plus years. I was also a Practical Nurse, working primarily in seniors’ care.

But I’ve also been a young wife and mother who raised her three children here, – (all three attended Peachland Elementary School, before moving on to Middle and High Schools) --, I have a good understanding of the needs of young families, and the importance of young families and individuals to move to Peachland – or stay in Peachland, if they were raised here.

Here is why both are equally important. Seniors today were the vital “community builders” who helped developed the town and cities where people live today. Road builders, engineers, schoolteachers, daycare providers, doctors, nurses, all healthcare workers, restaurant workers, technicians, farmers, grocers, stay-at-home parents, bus drivers, steel workers, the caretakers of our parks and civic buildings, plumbers, electricians… They have all brought us to where we are today and helped us thrive. To them we should be forever grateful and support them in their senior years.

The community builders of today and tomorrow are the young working families, and individuals, and we must ensure they have affordable housing options, and amenities, such as the Skate Park, ice rink, WIBIT (summer water park), splash pad, sports fields, parks and playgrounds, etc.

In order for seniors to enjoy retirement years here, we need the next generations to step in and carry on their community building legacy, and maintain our communities to enjoy.

I may be stating this is a very clinical way, but I felt it important to express why an intergenerational population is essential to any community.

On a personal level, it warms my heart when I see and hear the kids enjoying the splash pad, or WIBIT, or playgrounds, and see their parents enjoying a coffee and a snack while watching them. Or children and families enjoying the parade, Canada Day events, Glow Run, Halloween Spooktacular, sports, Guides, the Boys and Girls Club, Intergeneration cooking and gardens, and so much more. Without those amenities and activities for young families, they are going to choose other communities to live.

DAYCARE! I have also experienced the frustration of both finding daycare for my children and paying for it. This is why I am very supportive of increasing daycare spaces in our community. I, also, have been a strong advocate for the $10/day daycare (co-pay) program. I was a member of CATCH (Community Action Towards Children’s Health), and at the Child and Family Connections ribbon cutting in Kelowna, with Melissa Hunt. We need that closer to home.

I’ve had a few people say, the municipality/taxpayers shouldn’t be in the business of daycare. But that’s not what I am proposing. I am talking about being a strong advocate for existing and future daycare facilities here in Peachland. This will be one of my priorities.

Peachland needs young families, and our seniors, and everyone in-between. We can’t let this community end up as a town just for the wealthy, because eventually Peachland will stop thriving and de-evolve.

HOUSING OPTIONS… There is a housing crisis in this province – availability and affordability – which is why I supported the new rental development next to the school. While it will be geared mostly toward young families, it will also be available to individuals and seniors.

I don’t think I need to explain the importance of this. There have been a couple objections, -- and one of the mayoral candidates voted against it, while at the same time voting in favour of the high-end development at Todd’s. But I can’t think of a greater need right now, or a better location. It is next to the school, the mall and services there, such as medical, post office, library, grocery store, etc., and close to transit, the skate park, tennis and pickleball courts, and within walking distance of the beach. The traffic issues at the school are being addressed, and it will be made safer with a new road for turnaround and parking. It will also keep the student numbers up at Peachland Elementary, which has been considered for closing in the past when the numbers declined.

Typically, the younger voter turnout isn’t very high at the polls. But we need you to please get out and vote for the future of Peachland…for the very young, to the young-at-heart, and all those in-between.

Mayor Cindy.

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