The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

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Decolonizing the Municipality 

Over the last few years, decolonizing relationships has been increasingly urgent, as Indigenous communities have been faced with rising up as society grapples with the uncovering of the bodies of children at residential schools, Missing and Murdered Indigenous People and the disproportionate rates of health epidemics in Indigenous communities. The Kamloops Food Policy Council acknowledges that there is no food security without Indigenous Food Sovereignty, and we wanted to get to the root of the health and wealth divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, literally, starting at the ground level, with the land.  

The Kamloops Food Policy Council hosted a book club on the Yellowhead Institute’s Land Back paper, in spring 2022. The Land Back paper uses consent as the central touchstone for the restoration of Indigenous jurisdiction over the land. So, as we face a municipal election amidst ongoing reckoning with the colonial history of this land, we want to ask, what role can the municipality play in decolonization? 

One of the most important things to understand is the chain of events that occurred because of an incorrect assumption made by the first settlers that there were no Indigenous laws. They made this erroneous assumption because Indigenous laws were in oral stories, and not written on paper at the time of contact. As a result, British colonists applied their own laws, and in doing so claimed the vast majority of what is now known as Canada as crown land. While Indigenous law still remains in tacts and unbroken, crown land inhibits control and decision making powers by Indigenous people within their territories. 

Right now, in BC, crown land comprises 94% of the province, while Indigenous reserve land makes up only 0.4%. Across the entire country, Indigenous reserve land represents only 0.02% of the land base. Just take a minute to let these numbers sink in. Less than half of 1% of the land is under the jurisdiction of the Indigenous populations who stewarded and cared for this land from time out of mind, until the time of contact with settlers. 

[Map of Crown Land in City of Kamloops Boundaries]

Although crown land often looks barren and empty on a map, every square metre is affected by mining, logging, drilling or the associated impacts to the watersheds and wildlife. The extraction of resources from crown land is the core of the economy. Which means that Canada’s economy relies on the ongoing alienation of Indigenous people from their land. Indigenous people have experienced this forceful removal from the land over time through laws prohibiting Indigenous people from leaving reserves, residential schools, the 60s scoop, incarceration, and many other direct and indirect ways. This land alienation has left Indigenous communities in poverty and it reinforces the cycle, as multiple coinciding crises prevent Indigenous people from pursuing the restoration of their rights and title to the land (Land Back, 2019). We might think of the chain of events looking like this: 

Colonists assumption about the absence of Indigenous law > Creation of crown land and private land holdings using British laws > Removal of Indigenous jurisdiction over land > Widespread natural resource extraction benefitting settlers > Requirement for continued Indigenous land alienation for economic purposes > Overlapping Indigenous crises > Continued land alienation and natural resource extraction. 


So back to the original question: what role can a municipality play in decolonization? There are significant decolonial actions that are within the realm of power that a local government has that can help to redress the harm that has occurred. 

Starting with reconciling the false assumption about the absence of Indigenous Laws that occurred at contact, the first policy recommendation is for the municipality to formally recognize oral and written Indigenous law. One instance where this already occurred was during the review process for the AJAX mine, where Indigenous communities in the Kamloops area formed the group Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) and used Indigenous laws to determine that they did not consent to the creation of a mine in the proposed area. The City of Kamloops subsequently also opposed the project. It would be valuable to continue and deepen this commitment to accepting Indigenous decisions, directives and resolutions when it comes to regional issues. 

The second recommendation is to look for opportunities to transition government land to Indigenous control. The City of Kamloops has already supported an addition to reserve application by Tk’emlups te Secwépemc, and there are more opportunities to directly transfer municipal land to the Secwépemc nation. The return of ancestral lands within municipal boundaries to Indigenous communities has been done across our province including in Mission in 2021, in Merritt in 2020, and in Vancouver in 2014

The third recommendation is for the City to support the advancement of education around Secwépemc histories, stories, and laws. It is important for education both within the school district, and in the broader citizenship of Kamloops to be focused on Secwépemc specific information and that this education includes a decolonial lens. It is equally as important for non-Indigenous people in Kamloops to explore their own ancestry and its land-based connections. The more we can see ourselves as humans in connection with the land, the more responsive we will be as a society to the restoration of Indigenous jurisdiction over this land. 

The fourth recommendation is to advance land back practices within the municipality by: 

  • Making decolonization public by hosting a series of dialogues intended for citizens in partnership with TteS, similar to Victoria’s Reconciliation Dialogues 
  • Launching a program to rename places in Kamloops to their Secwépemc name, similar to Haida initiatives that resulted in the renaming of Queen Charlotte to Daajing Giids
  • Implementing a voluntary or suggest land taxation system that would flow to Secwepemc communities, similar to Victoria’s initiative with Reciprocity Trust 

The City of Kamloops has already shown a strong commitment to decolonizing the municipality through the creation of an action plan that outlines how it is addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. This has laid a solid foundation for advancing Land Back initiatives. With the election around the corner we have an opportunity to renew and deepen our commitment, as citizens and as a local government to the restitution of Indigenous rights and title and the restoration of human relationships with each other and with the land.   

KFPC’s Recommendations for Decolonizing the Municipality 

  • Formally recognize oral and written Indigenous law, and comply with Indigenous decisions, directives and resolutions when it comes to shared regional issues
  • Pursue opportunities to transition government land to Indigenous control
  • Support Secwépemc-specific education, curriculum and citizen reflection and learning 
  • Implement and promote municipal Land Back practices such as decolonization dialogues, a Secwépemc renaming program, and voluntary land taxes


KFPC is a mostly settler led organization engaged in the ongoing practice of decolonizing our practices. We are part of a learning journey and this blog article reflects some highlights from our recent Land Back book club as well as conversations with Indigenous partners and local Indigenous led-organizations, who we are grateful for discussions and idea sharing with. We expect this to be an ongoing learning journey and that our recommendations for increasing Indigenous Food Sovereignty, as well as Indigenous jurisdiction as a part of municipal action will evolve over time. 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!

Community Food Security

As the memories of empty grocery shelves and uncertainty about supply chains are still fresh in our minds, it’s a good time to think about what food system resilience is, and how we can move towards this as a community. The highway closures in November 2021 showed the relatively short supplies of fresh vegetables, milk, egg and other staples that our grocery stores can carry. While many people attributed the empty shelves to panic buying, in reality, our food system has moved towards to-the-minute supply chains. Our globalized system and consolidation of production and aggregation facilities leave us very vulnerable to disruptions. 

Food shortages bring pre-existing failures of the food system into view for a much wider audience in the community – many people start thinking about where their food comes from for the first time. While we don’t want to over-dramatize the fact that we had empty produce shelves – ultimately, supply chains were able to adapt and fresh produce was back on shelves within several days. We want to recognize these moments where the lack of resilience in our global food supply chains are made visible and how they prompt us to reflect on the deeper challenges in our current food system. Specifically thinking of which members of our community are most vulnerable when these disruptions take place.

As climate change disasters become more and more frequent there is an increased risk of larger scale shortages. Turning our attention and our minds towards local food can help to put some slack in our system and increase our ability to weather the potential supply chain storms ahead. 

Defining Community Food Security and Food Sovereignty

Community food security aims to ensure that “all citizens obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance and equal access for everyone” (BC Interior Health Authority; Dietitians of Canada 2017). Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems (La Via Campesina).

These concepts integrate multiple issues. When we talk about food security, we’re not just asking if people have enough food to eat, we’re thinking about the whole system around food: we’re emphasizing that food is a human right that everyone should have access to, we’re thinking about how food is grown – who grows it, how it impacts our land and water, and who holds the power and privilege in that system.

A Systems Approach

At the KFPC, our response to the challenge of food security is to take a systems approach, to radically reimagine our food systems in ways that take into account the health and well-being of people, land, and water. We need resilient food systems if we’re going to have food secure communities.

In order to see this meaningful change, we need to shift our mindsets both individually and at a cultural level. In particular, there is deep work needed to decolonize how we view our land, food, and each other. We need to move away from viewing food and land as a commodity to be extracted and consumed, and towards a view that sees food as a gift; reflects and respects the interconnectedness of food, people, and nature; promotes a feeling of abundance; and reminds us to care for our community and for each other. 

Our recipe for becoming more food resilient as a community lies in addressing four areas of work: mutual aid, locally grown food, local food processing and distribution, and advocating for policies that support our regional food system. 

Mutual Aid

We need to start with disrupting the “us” vs “them” mentality. Many people were upset about alleged “hoarding” of food during the shortages, but it is important to remember that Kamloops’ population increased by 4% (3000+) with evacuees at the same time as the highways closed. All the evacuees were given grocery vouchers to spend at local stores to do an empty-fridge shop. One of the most important things we can do is to redirect our focus to mutual aid. It’s about helping others, but also learning how to communicate your needs. Sharing and trading are some of the most important activities for resilience in times of crisis. Knowing where food is being redistributed is helpful – we provide a list of free food resources and community meals on our website.

Locally Grown Food

We are seeing many examples of how local food production increases the resilience of our system. When the grocery shelves were empty, there were still fresh veggies at our local Farmers Market. We saw Blackwell Dairy milk stand out like an oasis in a deserted dairy aisle. Local farms were letting people know on social media they could come by if they needed food. Ultimately, the more local food in our bellies, the more we will be able to cope with disruptions in our supply chains. Let’s support local farmers and food business owners to make sure they are there when we need them again. 

The City of Kamloops Food and Agriculture Plan now encourages front yard gardens instead of lawns, and it allows up to five backyard chickens per household. In Kamloops, detached houses can have up to seven rabbits, and more recently, bee hives. These measures and the policies in place to support them will come as a great comfort as eggs and other staples are in short supply in the grocery stores. KFPC’s Gleaning Abundance Program and the Butler Urban Farm are great ways to access fruit and vegetables from common space for free in the summer months. 

Local Food Processing and Distribution

One of our major focuses right now at the KFPC is launching The Stir: a commercial processing kitchen facility that will allow local food to be preserved so it is available year-round. This facility will be available for food entrepreneurs, farmers and community members to rent on an hourly or monthly basis. 

Food Policies

Finally, we need to continue to push for provincial and federal policies and programs that protect and preserve farms that are producing for a local market. We need to continue to move towards creating livelihoods that keep the food production sector in our region healthy and thriving. 

We do not know what sorts of emergencies we may face in the growing uncertainty of climate change. However, we do know that how we prepare as a community will greatly enhance our self-sufficiency and resilience. The Kamloops Food Policy Council is intrepidly working towards our vision of a local regenerative and just food system, with a renewed sense of purpose and attention. 

KFPC’s Recommendation for Building a Food Secure Community for All

  • Create and implement a municipal Poverty Reduction Strategy that prioritizes food security for all as a human right
    • Establish decision making structures and equitable collaborative engagement to understand and act on the needs and concerns of people with lived/living experience of poverty
    • Allocate municipal funds for a long term multi-year, multisectoral poverty reduction approach
  • Include community food security as a priority area in all emergency and disaster recovery planning processes
  • Initiate a 10-year evaluation and update of the City of Kamloops’ Agriculture Area Plan (2023) and the Food and Urban Agriculture Plan (2025)
  • Allocate municipal funding through service agreements to organizations responsible for implementing actions in the Food and Urban Agriculture Plan and Agriculture Area Plan
  • Allocate a portion of the City of Kamloops’ investment in economic development specifically to grow the local food economy

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!

Exploring Community Safety in Kamloops – Part Two

*The first part of this post can be found here.

Community safety is a topic that reaches every aspect of our lives, including mental and physical health, housing and food security, and our social interactions and feelings of belonging. Community safety affects everyone and can only be achieved when individuals have a lack of need and want. You can read more about our exploration of the concept of community safety in Kamloops here.

Community safety has been a topic of great discussion at the KFPC as we approach the upcoming municipal election. These discussions have led us to explore how we can improve real and perceived safety for everyone in our community based on several common themes: mental and physical health, housing and food security, and social health.

Mental Health

Mental health is a critical aspect for community safety as it impacts safety on an individual and city-wide level. Like much of BC, Kamloops is experiencing a mental health care crisis. Our current funding structure and administrative services for mental health rely heavily on policing. This has caused police to be the primary contact for wellness checks, suspected overdoses, domestic violence incidents, and other mental health related crises. However, police are not trained in mental health crisis intervention techniques and de-escalation. Instead, they may respond with violence and detention, which can heighten the distress of the individual they are responding to. 

One alternative that we are seeing in Kamloops is the Car 40 program. This program pairs a psychiatric nurse with a plain clothes officer, who respond together to mental health related 911 calls that may traditionally have been responded to solely by police. This makes for a safer response for the individual they are attending to and frees up police officers and EMTs for other calls. This response also allows for an evaluation before the individual may be taken to the ER for further help, if deemed necessary by the professional. 

Despite the program’s headway, staffing of psychiatric nurses and the extra expenses for program expansion have historically hindered Car 40’s reach. Right now, Car 40 operates during business hours, but does not have coverage during evenings and weekends. Research shows the lack of psychiatric nurses in our area is not due to a lack of interest in the field, but a lack of opportunities for students to have practical experiences in psychiatric care.

Increasing the communication within the partnership between Interior Health (IH) and Thompson Rivers University’s School of Nursing (TRU SON) can help create more opportunities for student nurses to practice psychiatric care and encourage growth in this field of nursing to help bolster our existing care and response options for individuals in mental health crises. Furthermore, increased staffing for responses like Car 40 can decrease strain on other institutions, such as police, that have other roles to perform in community safety.

Physical Health 

Kamloops is currently experiencing a healthcare crisis with wide-reaching consequences on almost all areas of our lives, including community safety for our physical well-being. We have all experienced long wait times to access our family doctor, walk in clinics, or care at the emergency room. For people oppressed in our communities, such as those experiencing substance abuse disorders, mental illnesses, homelessness, poverty, those a part of a racial minority, or individuals living in larger bodies, accessing health care becomes even more complicated. All these groups may experience biases and stigma that can interfere with the quality of care they receive, if they can even access a medical professional. 

For some, hours of availability for walk-in clinics and long wait times at the ER may prevent them from accessing care if they need to decide between going to work that day or tending to children, versus taking care of their physical health. For others, the treatment they receive from medical staff or other patrons may deter them from seeking care. And for other groups of people, they may not be in a mental or physical state that is well enough to even try to access care, such as those with substance use disorder. 

While communities across Canada try to amend their doctor shortages, we also encourage communities to look into what types of clinics and medical care are currently available and accessible to those in need. Do we have street teams that help those experiencing substance use disorder, or homelessness access care without fear of stigma? Do we have enough trauma and culturally informed providers to treat our Indigenous populations? Is childcare offered while parents wait to receive care? Do we have clinics that are open 24 hours, to prevent overburdening our hospitals with non-emergent care needs?

Instead of asking whether there is “enough” care in our communities, we want governments to consider if there is enough accessible care available; are clinics open outside of regular business hours, is there childcare provided, are staff trained in trauma-informed practices?


Housing for all is essential to community safety. Unfortunately, Kamloops is experiencing a major crisis of housing affordability and availability. You can read more about KFPC’s policy recommendations for housing here.

Food security 

In addition to physical health care, access to food to maintain one’s health is also a necessity when it comes to community safety and wellness. Panic buying during the early days of Covid-19 and highway closures last fall have shown us all the importance of a strong local food-supply. On average, our grocers stock two days worth of food at a time. In times of emergency or delayed delivery, we have seen firsthand how quickly grocery store shelves can become empty.

To build a resilient food system, we must invest in our own food producers and processors to ensure we have continued access to food in the event of an emergency. Buying local and encouraging retailers to stock Okanagan or Interior products on their shelves can help ensure continued access to food in the event we cannot import food from other areas of the province, country, or internationally. Supporting initiatives like the KFPC’s food hub, The Stir, is key in strengthening the ability of our region to produce, process, preserve, and distribute local food.

Another factor to consider when talking about food security is equitable access to food. Do all people have access to fresh, culturally appropriate foods? Supporting programs like the Butler Urban Farm, an open access farm that anyone can harvest from during drop-in hours, is one piece of ensuring food security for everyone. We also have to ensure community food programming, such as food banks, are open during accessible hours or have alternatives if an individual is unable to pick up their own food. The Kamloops Food Bank has recently extended their business week to include Saturdays to help reach more people in need of food.

A more equitable dispersion of food security resources like community pantries and fridges can help more people have steadier and less stigmatised access to food than would otherwise be possible. Programs like the MacDonald Produce shelf help meet this need of immediate physical hunger for anyone in the community. Community fridges or pantries allow people to leave food and take food, in an anonymous fashion helps eliminate some of the stigma folks face when accessing resources like a food bank or soup kitchen. It also offers an ease of access for street entrenched folks that is not available through traditional food banks. A free access food shelf in their neighbourhood ensures many can get nutrition when they need it and are of mind to access it; they won’t need to try and find transportation to the food bank on their assigned day, and don’t need to carry or store the food for multiple days, like they would need to if accessing the food bank and acquiring a week’s worth of food. 

Social Safety

Many groups already facing a lack of safety physically, mentally, or regarding food and housing, have an added social violence in their daily lives through social interactions. Aggressive comments, actions, and care from community members and providers alike can have further negative impacts on the way an individual feels about themselves and their right to safety. A recent study published by the National Library of Medicine stated that “microaggressions may play a role in increasing the morbidity and mortality observed among certain racial minority groups as well as in people of low socioeconomic status” (2021).

De-stigmatizing the way community members and professionals think about people of different races, economic statuses, and those who are experiencing homelessness and mental health or substance abuse challenges, can drastically improve the daily safety levels of these groups of people.  

Health, governing, and policing institutions have a large influence in the way people think about others in their communities. Educating the public about how to respond to crises and what types of care are needed, can go a long way in creating a safer community.  This may look like public ad campaigns teaching the public about how to respond to certain situations. For example, how to talk to 911 when you suspect someone is overdosing. It is recommended when an individual comes across someone they suspect is experiencing an overdose, that they do not say this to a 911 operator, but rather report they have found someone unconscious, to reduce preconceived ideas about the individual by the emergency responders. Knowledge like this can dramatically influence the type of care an individual receives. By educating the public about some of the challenges working against certain groups who experience a lack of safety disproportionately to other populations, can help negate stereotypes and  microaggressions, helping improve citizen’s responses to seeing people in need of help.

More education for providers about trauma informed care for oppressed and stereotyped individuals can help improve the care they provide. Like citizens, if providers understand circumstances working against certain individuals, they are less likely to blame the individual themselves for needing care, and can instead offer compassionate care that can help the individual feel less afraid to access similar services next time they need help, instead of feeling afraid or anxious about having an unsafe interaction with a care or service provider.

Our communities are safer and healthier when citizens are educated about resources available and when they can be helpful. Our neighbour’s safety directly affects our own, and we all have a role to play in making our municipalities feel safe for everyone.

You can learn more about the importance of public and accessible spaces, which also contribute to public safety, here.

A safer city involves us all

We all have a role to play in helping our communities feel safer. Educating ourselves, and demanding health, governing, and policing institutions do their part to educate the public and create new, or bolster existing services, is the next step in improving community safety. 


KFPC’s Policy Recommendations to Increase Community Safety for All: 

  • Collaborative development of a comprehensive community safety strategy, including:
    • Meaningful involvement from those most in need and most lacking safety in our communities
    • Leadership and partnership efforts from the whole community, including the social service sector, business sector, neighbourhood associations, those with lived experience, and elected representatives
    • The implementation of safety audits in different community environments to inform our understanding of our existing safety levels, and allowing us to build a strategy based on immediate needs
  • Reallocation of municipal funding to reduce the responsibilities of the police in situations where they are not the best equipped to create safety, such as mental health issues or domestic disputes
    • more street outreach teams, more support for basic needs like housing and food security
  • Improvements to the accessibility of our healthcare system including:
    • Additional communication between IH and TRU SON to create more practicum placements in psychiatric nursing for student nurses to help increase the availability of psychiatric care.
    • Clinics (seperate from the ER) that are available  for longer hours to accommodate folks who cannot take time off of work to seek medical attention. 
    • Clinics that provide child care,
    • Clinicians and all staff trained in trauma-informed practices, particularly in regards to: those experiencing homlessness, substance abuse-disorder, and other mental health crises; domestic violence and abuse victims; fat people; and Indigenous Peoples. 
  • The implementation of community pantries and fridges in neighbourhoods across Kamloops.
  • An increase in public-education aiming to destigmatize marginalised communities and teach citizens how to respond to a variety of mental and physical crises.

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!


Exploring Community Safety in Kamloops

*This post was also published in the Kamloops This Week Connector Article. That version can be found here.
*The second blog post on Community Safety can be found here.


What does it mean to feel safe in our community? At the Kamloops Food Policy Council, we’ve noticed our understanding of safety has undergone drastic revisions over the last few years as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, floods, and supply-chain issues. These emergencies and challenges have brought new and complex needs to our community. 

This new and heightened level of need may be a contributing factor to the increase in crime rates and decrease in perceptions of safety we are currently seeing in Kamloops. When discussing safety, it’s important to consider the actualized levels of safety as well as our perceptions of it. While general unease has increased and feelings of safety have decreased in current years, current crime statistics show a decrease in general crime. Our current crime severity index score in Kamloops is 135.5, with the RCMP reporting in their Quarter 4 year end report this spring that criminal offences have risen 5% from 2020 to 2021. However, our current score shows a decrease compared to historical data. In 2000, Kamloops had a crime severity index score of 160.31. This score peaked at 190.92 in 2003, and reached a record low of 98.14 in 2015. 

Safety is a complex topic, and it is often hard to see the whole picture of public safety and security in our community. Statistics don’t tell us everything and are often hard to come by in detail at a local level. However, despite these challenges, it is necessary to aim for a comprehensive understanding of community safety to address the issues that influence our perceptions and actualized levels of safety. 

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), community safety engages personal security, personal development, and community development at the individual and community level. The UNDP also suggests that true safety includes an ensured “freedom from fear.” In broader definitions, safety also includes “freedom from want” for all community members. This understanding aligns with a core value of the KFPC: to alleviate poverty and promote food security for all.

Freedom from fear and freedom from want are both needed for community saftey. Who is experiencing fear and/or want is an important and complex question to address. Marginalized people in our community, including people of colour, those who are unhoused, individuals experiencing food insecurity, individuals whom have untreated mental health issues or substance abuse disorders, and those living in abusive environments are the most vulnerable and at risk when it comes to their personal safety, and the least likely to be experiencing these freedoms from want or need. These groups are also most likely to experience stigma and shame, even though our whole community benefits when we address the systems that put people into these circumstances (see our recent short film Don’t Fight the Poor, Fight Poverty). 

Currently, our default solution to increasing community safety is policing. While one part of a complex structure, it is important to note that policing doesn’t address freedom from want occurring in our community. Evidence shows us that more policing isn’t necessarily the best solution to increasing community safety, especially for marginalized groups where policing can impose higher risks. For example, Indigenous and Black citizens are overrepresented per capita in deadly police encounters.  So, what other solutions can we turn to to create a safer community?

In the context of these complex social issues, the KFPC is advocating for the development of a comprehensive community safety strategy on behalf of the City of Kamloops. This effort will require solid leadership and partnership efforts from the whole community, as well as meaningful involvement from those most in need and most lacking safety in our communities. It will also require all of us to step up in our own neighbourhoods, as our neighbours’ safety directly effects our own. An example of a small step that can go a long way in creating safety in our neighbourhoods, is the McDonald Park Neighbourhood Association’s recently opened Free Community Produce Stand in McDonald Park.

Some other feasible solutions might include more street outreach teams, more support for basic needs like housing and food security, and reallocation of municipal funding to reduce the responsibilities of police in situations such as mental health issues or domestic disputes. The development and implementation of safety audits in different community environments would also be beneficial to give our community an idea of our existing safety levels, and allow us to make recommendations and implement new initiatives based on our immediate needs.

Overall, an integrated strategy with supporting processes and mechanisms for implementing solutions can go a long way in increasing the level of safety in our community, and ensuring it extends beyond police force responsibility. We can all participate in keeping each other safe! 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!


Healthy Ecosystems and Pesticide Use in Kamloops

When seasons shift, the changes in our natural world invite themselves to be noticed. The mornings become cooler and the days get shorter as the sun tucks away at an earlier hour. Our gardens race to put out their last fruits. Summer fades and transitions are also marked by the beginning of the school year, celebrations at fall fairs, storing camping gear and bathing suits, and getting back into our day-to-day routines. What I value most about this shift, is gaining some time to reflect on the teachings the summer bustle has offered me. This summer, for both personal and professional reasons, I have been thinking a lot about my connection to this place I call home – Tk’emlúps – and how I can foster a stronger relationship of reciprocity with the land.

What is Ecological Value?
The word ecology comes from the Greek oikos, “home, dwelling place” and -logia, “study of” or “knowing of”. From this etymological breakdown, woven back together, we can roughly define ecology as: the study of our home. For me, this study revolves around an exploration of the interconnectedness in both the human and the more-than-human worlds. The term value comes from Latin “valere” and means to be strong or to be worth. Yet, the word holds more complexity. Our individual values come from a collection of personal worldviews. Together, our worldviews and values help guide what we end up proclaiming as important and worthy of our energy and time. As a collective, our values stem from a myriad of factors: past and present politics, cultural and familial practices (inclusive of religion and ethnicity), and societal expectations. As active citizens of community we must be cognizant of what shapes the value systems in which we find belonging and meaning.

Why is Ecological Value Important?
As inhabitants on this land, and inherent stewards, it is vital that we gain clarity on how we value our home places. Because, no matter how we spend time on this land, whether it be through sports, outdoor adventuring, or gardening, we need to be aware of when we have taken too much without ample reciprocity. When we fail to take into consideration the worth of our land, as with any other relationship we fail to nurture, it will become apparent that something has shifted. Climatic changes and loss of species biodiversity are two examples of relational imbalances. Our ecological system naturally self-regulates and it will return to some level of healthy balance unless our actions interrupt this process.

Caption: Butler Urban Farm, July 2022. Credit: KFPC

Small Changes Matter
As I navigate a more harmonious relationship with this land, I have tried to become more aware of the small places where I can tend to it. It becomes overwhelming when I recognize the cumulative human impacts on this planet, and therefore, as a coping tool and perhaps as a means to feel constructive, I hone in on the achievable. I focus on the small, and mighty, changes that I can make as a community member.

As I become more informed on pesticide practices within the City of Kamloops, I see an opportunity for me to once again consider and clarify my personal values. I live, learn, and love on this land. I also advocate for a city that honours healthy spaces for me to continue to do so.

Replacing Pesticide Use with Healthier Ecosystems
When we talk about healthy spaces, we are referring to the land we live on, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the spaces we inhabit or visit. A healthy city encourages and fosters healthy spaces and healthy lifestyles. Pesticides are a controversial topic. They help us deal with and manage pests of all kinds, but they also cause a wide variety of negative effects for people and our environment, ranging from immediate to severe. Are pesticides encouraging an investment in the ecological value of our land, or are they continuing to promote a colonial mindset that seeks to control the land we live on, rather than live in harmony with it?

Through a spatial analysis of pesticide spraying in Kamloops, we have visually mapped where our City is spraying. Click here to view our interactive story map and learn more about current pesticide use on public lands in the City of Kamloops. You’ll also find additional research about types of pesticides, why they are used, and the negative effects they can have.

Link to the Story Map:

While this information can be intimidating, knowledge is power. Truly seeing where our City is spraying helps us better understand the risks and potential side effects of pesticides on our health, and the health of children, pets and wildlife, and the natural world. It also prompts us to imagine what else is possible: healthy ecosystems, full of life, where people, plants and pollinators can thrive.

KFPC Policy Recommendations for Investing in the Ecological Value of Public Lands
We are recommending the City of Kamloops consider the following strategies to invest in healthy ecosystems on public lands, and reduce the need for pesticide use:

  • Engage citizens in the development of an Integrated Pest Management Plan and increase the transparency of the City’s pest management practices and reporting;
  • Transition more city land to higher ecological values and healthier ecosystems;
    • Adopt more edible landscaping on city lands, including fruit and nut trees and perennial bushes and shrubs, and engage community organizations and neighborhood associations to ensure these areas are well maintained;
    • Replace current landscaping strategies such as manicured annual plantings, mown grass boulevards and hardscaping with native plant bioswales;
    • Transition to a Natural Asset Management approach across all public works operations in Kamloops;
  • Incorporate more alternative methods to control invasive species; and
  • Implement a complete ban on the use of Glyphosate and 2,4-D on all city lands, including spot applications.

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 

Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!

Planning for People, Not Cars:

A panoramic shot of Kamloops shows an expansive city. One that has slowly built up overtime from the river valley to the surrounding mountainsides. The hilly terrain creates a photogenic landscape, but poses a unique problem. How do people move around such a geographically vast and challenging terrain? 

Despite its smaller size of approximately 100,000 residents, geographically, Kamloops is the fourth largest municipality in our province. The primary method of transportation in Kamloops, like the rest of Canada, is the private automobile. Kamloops’ growth and planning measures have solidified cars as the main transportation method across the country by prioritising suburban street layouts, expanding highways, and building multiple suburban neighbourhoods. Kamloops has become a city built for cars.

Cars are an incredible invention. They offer a luxurious form of transportation that moves one from point a to point b quickly, comfortably, and reliably. More than just a utilitarian tool, cars have become ingrained in our Canadian identity and culture. Cars are a part of who we are as Canadians and individuals. This personalization has been perpetuated by and embedded in our pop culture: when we think of moms, we say minivans; when we talk about men in a midlife crisis, we see a Ferrari or Porsche; when we talk about middle-aged men we see a restored hotrod. Cars have become an extension of ourselves. In Kamloops, we shut down our city’s streets for an entire night to glamorise cars with ‘Hot Night in the City’. Looking at the financial impact cars have, roads are one of the most highly subsidised government initiatives in Canada. Our roads, highways, and their continuous upkeep and maintenance are not free – they come at a high cost. One which we seem very happy to maintain.

It is not a stretch to say that in Kamloops, cars are king. Yet, have we stopped to think about who cars actually benefit? Who do cars support? Are they really the best form of transportation? When did cars, a privilege – not a right, become the only form of transportation we focus on? The one we most heavily subsidise? 

Equality is an issue of access

Transportation is more than an issue of engineering and planning. Transportation is a social necessity for a healthy and happy life. If we want to build and design equal and equitable cities, they need to work for everyone. This means that everyone needs to be able to get around in an affordable, safe, and reliable way. 

A car-dominated landscape and built form leaves many to the wayside. Those unable to drive – whether due to disability, age, income, or personal choice, are left with fewer and less reliable options. The design of rural and suburban areas of our province have practically made cars the only choice of transportation. This is causing many Canadians to make impossible choices. In Canada, 28% of seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia still hold a valid driver’s licence (Turcotte, 2012). Current crash data shows that seniors aged 65 and over have the highest fatality rate of drivers at 20.6% (Transport Canada, 2018). Because we have planned for cars and not people, we are forcing many to choose between their autonomy and safety. Planning only for cars has created unsafe and fatal transportation networks. 

The City of Kamloops paints people, not cars, as the best form of transportation. Our Transportation Master Plan lays out the following vision for transportation in our city:

“A transportation system in the city of Kamloops, consistent with the vision of KAMPLAN, that provides a diversity of safe, accessible, affordable, and sustainable travel choices for all that integrate well, are effective to use, promote healthy lifestyles, and support economic prosperity.” (Kamloops Transportation Master Plan

This vision clearly is attempting to move beyond the single occupancy vehicle and be more people focused. But how can we actually pivot? Are we really ready to dethrone the car? How much of our City’s plans are just words on paper versus practical action?

Switching Gears

The shift to more equitable and accessible forms of transportation cannot happen overnight. We have over 70 years of inertia, both ideologically in our thoughts, behaviour, and culture, and perhaps even more importantly, in built infrastructure and public spending. But across North America many cities are beginning to successfully implement new transportation strategies. Here in Kamloops, we are seeing the beginnings of this reflected in city and neighbourhood plans from the last decade as well as changing public dialogue. So what could we be doing differently to create a more equitable and accessible transportation network in Kamloops?



Encouraging Active Transportation

Active transportation is one of the fastest growing methods of transportation in our city, particularly the bicycle. Our hilly landscape was once considered too difficult to overcome, but with the widespread adoption of e-bikes our terrain no longer seems as challenging or impossible to change.

So how can we encourage this trend in Kamloops? Investing in bike lanes to create safe transportation corridors across our city is a key step towards change. This work has already started in some neighbourhoods, but there is still room for improvement. Many of our neighbourhoods and key centres – such as Thompson Rivers University – remain unconnected to safe paths from other areas of the city.

There are also smaller, less expensive strategies we could use to make active transportation more attractive to new users:

  • Bike theft is a significant issue in many areas of Kamloops. Like any complex problem, there isn’t a single solution, but we could be incentivizing bike valets at more events, working with employers to provide safe bicycle storage solutions, and considering other, more creative solutions to bike parking.
  • An E-bike or E-scooter share is another city wide program that could be implemented. Whether with docks and stations – or no pre-set location, there are a number of examples province-wide to learn from.
  • Encouraging active transportation through city incentives or measures such as car free urban centres, a well-developed network of active transportation infrastructure, hosting events such as Car-Free Days, offering tax incentives for those who use active transportation or public transportation, and so forth.

Policy Changes for New Developments

Just as difficult as changing our transportation habits are, so too is changing our existing infrastructure. While the shift towards infrastructure that supports sustainable transportation seems like an expensive cost, we have to remember that all modes of transportation are costly. Setting guidelines for how new developments move forward in our city is an easier way to build more for less. While there are already a range of requirements that exist for developers, our development guidelines could include more. This would further help to share the cost burden between taxpayers and developers for shifting to more equitable, people-focused transportation options.

One of the more well-studied policy options for developments we could consider is reducing or eliminating parking minimums for new builds. This would allow for far greater densification, increasing walkability. It would also offer a wider range of housing price options due to the decoupling of underground parking spots from condos. There is already some traction in Kamloops to consider this.

Other examples of people-focused transportation requirements new developments could be required to implement include building public multi-use paths, public access to amenities such as green space or beaches, secure storage for bicycles, or charging infrastructure for e-bikes and car share programs. Multi-family developments that incorporate mixed-use commercial spaces like offices or daycares can increase the likelihood that residents can walk to work or drop their children off without relying on a vehicle. And of course, good food security planning that ensures grocery stores are within walking distance to new developments will also reduce people’s reliance on their cars. 

Transit for All

Public transit seems to have a bad rap in Canada. It is often seen as a last resort when considering transportation options, particularly in small to mid-sized cities such as Kamloops. Encouraging public transit use will not only have to build up the system, but break the stigma we’ve attached to it. One way we can do this is by making transit ‘the better choice’ for Kamloopsians. Such examples to foster public transit use include:

  • Increasing the coverage of transit routes and increasing the frequency of service on all routes, especially those that require transfers; 
  • Planning for transit beyond a utilitarian tool. Making the bus an “it place”, not just a tool that moves people from point A to point B. One such example could be Tea Party Socials on the bus;
  • Offering free transit or transit free days to encourage individuals to try the bus;
  • Investing in better design for our buses and bus stops that allows individuals to feel safe and welcomed; 
  • Providing free wifi on buses and at bus stops;
  • Using new technology to live track buses to ensure reliability; and
  • Establishing art or other pop-up events at transit exchanges. 

The need for choice: Multi-Modal Transportation

Creating a transportation system that is safe, accessible, and that works for everyone will include multiple modes of transportation. An accessible transportation system includes a set of transportation options that encourages individuals to be able to take transit, drive, walk, and ride bicycles with ease at different times of the day and through all seasons. We know that our transportation habits can’t change overnight. Not everyone may be ready to bike all year round or give up their car keys. But small and incremental changes can create major transformations. Just encouraging drivers to add a few trips a week by transit into their lives will pay dividends for our entire community. 

Moving from Theory to Practice

For decades our community plans guiding transportation development in Kamloops have placed single occupancy vehicles as the last priority for transportation development moving forward. But looking around our city, we can see this change has not been reflected in either the built form or in our budgets. Focusing on sustainable transportation in our policies is perhaps the most straight-forward sounding, but also the most important change to start with. We need to pivot from talking about putting people first in our transportation systems to actually budgeting and building for it. Transportation is an issue bigger than ourselves. When we plan for choice in our transportation system, we accommodate the needs of all and create a more equitable and accessible city.   

KFPC Policy Recommendations for Planning for People, Not Cars

  • Invest in infrastructure and incentives to encourage active transportation
    • Invest in bike lanes to create safe transportation corridors
    • Reduce bike theft by incentivizing bike valets at events and providing safe bike storage solutions
  • Implement development guidelines that prioritize sustainable transportation and walkable neighbourhoods
    • Eliminate parking minimums for new builds
    • Incentivize developments that include amenities and infrastructure such as public multi-use paths, public access to amenities such as green space or beaches, secure storage for bicycles, charging infrastructure for e-bikes and car share programs
  • Invest in public transit to make it an efficient, convenient choice for all residents
    • Increase the coverage of transit routes and increase the frequency of service on all routes, especially those that require transfers; 
    • Plan for transit beyond a utilitarian tool. Make the bus an “it place”, not just a tool that moves people from point A to point B. One such example could be Tea Party Socials on the bus;
    • Offer free transit or transit free days to encourage individuals to try the bus;
    • Invest in better design for our buses and bus stops that allows individuals to feel safe and welcomed; 
    • Provide free wifi on buses and at bus stops;
    • Use new technology to live track buses to ensure reliability; and
    • Establish art or other pop-up events at transit exchanges.


  • Turcotte, Martin. “Profile of seniors’ transportation habits.” Canadian Social Trends 93, no. 2012001 (2012): 1-16.
  • Transport Canada. “Canadian motor vehicle traffic collision statistics.” (2018)

For the full list of Food & the City topics and recommendations, check out our webpage.

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has launched a series on food and the city to explore a number of deeper civic discussions leading up to our municipal election. As the late urban planner and Canadian food advocate Wayne Roberts wrote, “food is a lever.” Food is how we connect to the land, our communities, and our traditions. And because food is so impactful in all our lives, it is a useful lever through which we can create transformative changes in other areas. Strong local food systems can help us get to more affordable housing, walkable neighbourhoods, stronger local economies, spaces for safety and belonging, and more. 


Subscribe here to stay in the loop about our ongoing food and the city posts!


Public Spaces in Kamloops: Reinvesting in the Commons for an Abundant Life for All

*Portions of this post were published in the Kamloops This Week Connector Article. The condensed version of this article can be found here


Are You Feeling the Pinch?

When I go to the grocery store these days, I’ve noticed that I’m paying close attention to the prices and being a lot more selective. The cost of groceries has always been a struggle for low income families but increasingly, even middle income households need to be careful with their food budgets. 

According to the latest Consumer Price Index, “The cost of food climbed 9.1% from July of 2021.The prices for groceries purchased from stores (+10.1%) and meals purchased from restaurants (+6.5%) both increased when compared to the previous year. Within the food category, there was a year-over-year increase in price for all items.The largest increases in price were for fresh vegetables (+12.8%), bakery & other cereal products (+12.3%), and coffee & tea (+12.0%)” (BC Stats, July 2022).

It’s not just food prices that are skyrocketing – gas and transportation costs are up, housing affordability is in a major crisis, and other household needs like recreation, education, and health and personal care costs are up too.

We’re struggling to make ends meet, and when so many of us are having the same experience, it makes sense to look to the community we live in to see if we can discover shared solutions.

Investing in the Commons

Public amenities, public goods, or the commons are different ways to refer to the public facilities, green spaces, and services that are available to everyone in our community free of barriers or costs.

Investments in these shared resources can be a huge help to costs at the level of individual households. Imagine what your household budget would look like if you could:

  • Access free, convenient, reliable public transit instead of paying for the annual costs of owning a car.
  • Access free, reliable wifi services in all common public spaces instead of increasing your data plan again.
  • Access fresh, healthy food from fruit and nut trees and berry bushes in public parks to help stretch your grocery budget further.
  • Visit welcoming parks, plazas, free music and cultural events, and lively neighbourhood gatherings instead of paying for yet another monthly streaming service.
  • Use walking, hiking and biking trails, public pools and splash pads, and accessible playgrounds to reduce personal health costs.

Imagine what those benefits would do not only for your household, but for students struggling to juggle a full course load and two part time jobs, or new immigrants getting settled in new jobs while getting acquainted with a new culture, or a single mom working to get her family back on its feet after leaving a violent domestic relationship. Our whole community is made stronger by access to shared resources.

The Butler Urban Farm is an incredible example of a food commons. Located at the corner of Wilson and Clapperton, the BUF is a vibrant, productive farm that produces thousands of pounds of healthy produce each year, using permaculture and regenerative agriculture principles to build healthy soil. The farm is managed by the Kamloops Food Policy Council as a food commons, meaning that no one who shows up looking for free produce is turned away empty-handed. There are no fences and nothing to prevent people from helping themselves, and for the most part, people only take what they need and leave the rest to share.



One of the concerns people have with investment in public resources is that these investments cost money, and municipal budgets are already stretched thin. However, investment in the commons pays off for a few different reasons:

  • Municipalities are already spending money on common resources. For example, building, maintaining and clearing snow from our roads is a large expense towards a common resource. If we invested in a public transit system that was truly efficient, convenient and accessible, we could repurpose our investment in our expensive car-centric, road-centric system – and save money in the long run (research shows that subsidizing public transit is cheaper than the total social cost and externalities of using cars). 
  • Research has shown that investments in public amenities and quality of life improvements are the most effective way to grow healthy local economies – investing our municipal budget in these initiatives will help us attract more local businesses and new residents, increasing our municipal tax base.
  • When families are stretched thin on their monthly budgets, they are less likely to spend money at local businesses and circulate dollars in the local economy. A robust network of small local businesses makes a more resilient community!

The commons and public spaces aren’t just about costs though: they’re also a huge contributor to our feelings of connectedness and belonging. These are things that can help families struggling to make ends meet while at the same time, help us feel like life in Kamloops is abundant and thriving.

Community Growing Pains & Disconnectedness

Kamloops is growing at a significant rate. With a population growth rate around 8.4 percent over the past five years – well above both the B.C. and National averages – Kamloops is rapidly attracting new residents. Yet, businesses are struggling to remain viable along our commercial corridors, and there is a persistent discussion of safety in the most central parts of our city. Our city is in a precarious situation–one where growing pains could see the city fragmented by a relentless drive for development if we lack a vision for a future that includes us all.

When I first moved to Kamloops I was struck by a common observation among many people who move here – everyone is so friendly here! Lately I feel that Kamloops is losing a bit of that magic. The City deciding to mute Facebook comments on their page tells you something about the state of civic discourse right now; many of us have become defensive and combative towards anyone and anything we don’t understand. If the comments on social media are any indication of how we might discuss the very real, complex issues we need to face together – where is our future heading?.

Thriving Public Spaces

This is where our public spaces come into play. Anyone who has been lucky enough to enjoy a warm evening in Riverside Park, sprawled out near the bandshell to enjoy some free live music with your fellow city dwellers, has experienced the value of great public spaces. Anyone who has spent a Saturday morning perusing our farmer’s market, or a leisurely ride around Mac Island when it seems like every person on the North Shore has come out for a stroll, or a ride, or to pause for a moment and catch a bit of a baseball game, has felt the joyous sense of enjoying our city together.

Our public spaces don’t mean anything on their own. A plaza is granted its significance and power by people gathering in it, a park is granted its beauty and serenity by people enjoying it, just as a city street gains its excitement and ambiance when people use it. Public spaces flatten the divides we put up between ourselves. They belong to us all, and they call each of us to a higher common responsibility to make our city a great, vibrant, and accepting place to be.

Thriving public spaces have also been proven to benefit business, improve quality of life, and increase safety in cities.

We’ve already seen what can happen when we think about public spaces creatively here in Kamloops. KCBIA Executive Director Howie Reimer remarked to the City Council that the activation of public spaces through events such as Hoops in the Loops and the Santa Claus parade were a boost to local businesses, helping with many issues local owners had been struggling with. The patios that began popping up on Victoria Street during the past few years are now bustling, the best seats in the house for most restaurants and cafes. The Chamber of Commerce reclaimed a single parking space in front of their offices for a parklet, and now the space is used every day by folks taking the time to stop and enjoy a serene place to sit in the middle of downtown. We’ve seen what great public space can look and feel like, and we’ve seen what it can do.


Later this summer, the Kamloops Food Policy Council will open a public parklet in front of our new local food hub, The Stir, on the North Shore, right off the Tranquille corridor. This space will be for anyone and everyone– featuring a community pantry, seating, planters filled with native species, and wheelchair accessible garden beds. We believe everyone deserves great public space, and we want to show our commitment to making that a reality for our community. Our hope is to join other leaders in our community in advocating for more public space, and in doing so encourage a city that is better for business, more compassionate and diverse, and safer for everyone who lives here. We know when we invest in public spaces, we give the opportunity for community members to use those spaces to help others, and hold space for culture to shine through.

KFPC Policy Recommendations for Reinvesting in the Commons

So our challenge as a city is this– let’s support initiatives to make our public spaces better, let’s support new, bold ideas that might seem outlandish at first. Let’s practice compassion and understanding, and use our public spaces to advocate for better lives for every single person in Kamloops. We can continue to be a friendly place for those new to our community. Kamloops is growing, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose sight of what it means to be a great community– and if we lead with great public spaces, we won’t.

Here is our list of proposed recommendations to support more public spaces and reinvigorate the commons in Kamloops:

  • Invest in public transit by eliminating fares and increasing the coverage and frequency of service. 
    • Invest in transit infrastructure to make bus shelters more usable, friendly, and convenient
  • Provide reliable public wifi in more public spaces, especially in areas where it will be accessed by community members who are struggling to afford private internet costs.
  • Create more public spaces, including public plazas, parklets, parks and natural amenities and passive recreation opportunities. 
    • Require or incentivize developers to include accessible public spaces and community amenities in new developments.
    • Support the Performing Arts Centre
  • Invest in free, no barrier public events 
    • Continue to support Music in the Park
    • Provide support and incentives for neighbourhood associations and community organizations to host public movie nights, block parties and community gatherings.
  • Increase the availability of food commons in the community.
    • Prioritize fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and other perennial, edible landscaping in City parks and boulevards.
    • Provide support through service agreements for non-profit organizations operating community farms, gardens and pantries.
    • Expand the network of community garden spaces to provide residents with the opportunity to grow their own food as our city grows and densifies with greater numbers of apartments and condos
  • Continue to invest in active transportation paths that encourage us all to get outside, enjoy the landscape, and engage with our neighbours
    • This includes bike lanes, walking trails, and multi-use paths


For the full list of Food & the City topics and recommendations, check out our webpage.