Gord Lovegrove

Independent for Kelowna Council

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Biography

submitted by the candidate or their team

I’m a long time Kelowna resident and father of four, who has had the privilege to be:

A founding member of, and Associate Professor in, the UBCO School of Engineering where - I’ve been honored and very proud to have taught many Kelowna sons and daughters since 2005 in planning and design of sustainable communities, housing, transportation, safety, economics, railway, and systems engineering.

I’m a professional engineer with over 25 years of experience across BC cities large and small, urban and rural.

Two years ago I was asked to serve on the Board of the Kelowna Gospel Mission (KGM), who’s mission is to feed and shelter people experiencing homelessness, and, if they so choose, help them on a healing journey back to wholeness.

I also co-lead the technology node as a member of UBCOs Homelessness Research Cluster.

I’ve been asked to chair national sustainable development committees, and co-authored best practise guides for both Cdn & US Civil Engineering Societies;

I helped start the School of Engineering in 2005, and immediately connected with community stakeholders who shared my passion for the environment, community and sustainability. Through these partnerships, I have been active with the Kelowna Climate Coalition, Kelowna Tree Protectors, and Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council.

Most recently l was honored to be asked to serve as Canada’s 1st ever Departmental Science Advisor to the federal Deputy Ministers for Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada, on climate action, sustainable development (SMARTer Growth), housing, homelessness, sustainable transport & rail, and community resilience.

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team

- What I’m offering Kelowna is very simple: my sustainable community engineering experience. After a 40 year engineering career leading sustainable development and climate action projects, the last 20 mentoring and teaching at UBC’s School of Engineering, I’m stepping down.

- I’ve been trusted to teach your sons and daughters. I’ve been trusted to advise your federal government on climate action, sustainable development, transport and housing. Will you trust me with your vote?

- Kelowna is naturally gorgeous with a Quality of Life and Liveability that folks are flocking to; we are growing and we need to make SMARTer Growth decisions on how and where we accommodate new businesses, industry, and residents.

- I have knocked on thousands of doors and spoken to thousands or residents and businesses. A common theme is emerging – people are saying it is time for a change on Council, because of recent growth management decisions. Yes, we are a regional economic driver, technology hub, and eco-tourism destination – but folks are concerned that recent Council decisions have put all that at risk. It is time for a change, to align our strategic direction more closely with federal and provincial commitments on UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

- Kelowna is at a crossroads, we can continue to follow a sprawling Business as Usual approach, with orphaned communities on hillsides we can't afford to service, or, we can lead with experience, vision and sustainable, SMARTer Growth patterns that learn from our successes, mistakes, and world leading best practises.

- I have a skill set exactly mated to concerns that Kelowna citizens have identified on liveability, housing affordability, safety, homelessness, traffic congestion, and effective climate action

- I am offering my time and effort now, to help guide the most important decisions for our future

- I would bring expertise to Council decisions that would otherwise take weeks and thousands of taxpayers dollars to get from a consultant

- I can drill down to the real issues quickly, I have the vision, I can make up my mind

- I would bring systems-thinking and life cycle approaches, that preclude temptations to do costlier, short term, ineffective, tail-pipe solutions that are penny wise and pound foolish

- Safety, smarter solutions, and systems thinking are the domain of engineers, our training, and our legal duty

- Yet, I practice Mindfulness, I admit I do not know it all, and strive to always be a lifelong learner, an active listener to residents and other experts on the issues, and to judge each case on its own merits in accord with my pursuit of the UN SDGs.

- I am well connected given my 40 years of practice, research, mentoring, and research. When I need more information I know who to reach out to, and am well-respected in my local and global networks such that I can get answers quickly. I am a lifelong learner.

- I have always been a community builder, a connector in all my spheres of influence – whether it be in building youth clubs, Seniors Learning in Retirement, my professional circles, and Kelowna Service Clubs (Toastmasters, Rotary, FRAHCAS, KSAN, KCC, KTP, COHS, HAC).

- Its now time for the hard work to be done on Council, to move from GREAT plans to GREAT actions.

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