Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Layoffs possible, but not ‘necessary’ right now: Kelowna mayor

‘I think that there is that likelihood as this continues,’ said Mayor Colin Basran

Full-time staff members at the City of Kelowna will all keep their jobs — at least for the time being.

The city is continuing to seek ways to trim costs and tighten its belt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the first remedies was the layoffs of 65 permanent part-time staff in the city’s recreation department.

But as the economic fallout continues, staff could see their jobs on the line, according to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“I think that there is that likelihood as this continues,” said Basran.

“Is it something we’re going to consider? Absolutely it is — but at this time, we haven’t deemed it necessary. But I can certainly tell you that, as this moves forward, it’ll be something that’ll be considered heavily, absolutely.”

Across the province, several municipalities have begun laying off full-time staff, with the City of Burnaby laying off 1,500 staff on April 15.

But the mayors in the Central Okanagan’s smaller municipalities say they’re already operating leanly and there have been no layoffs as of yet.

“We have approximately 200 employees. You compare that to the City of Burnaby with 4,000,” West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom said.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker and Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin both said their municipalities don’t have excess people to lay off.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan politicians join forces to ensure economic strength following pandemic

READ MORE: Kelowna aerospace company manufacturing PPE amid COVID-19 pandemic


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