With Kamplan, council steps back to look at big picture

Two & Out
By James Peters
October 27, 2017 - 11:04am Updated: October 27, 2017 - 2:00pm

KAMLOOPS — Let's look at the big picture, Kamloops.

You may have missed a news story this week on an issue called "Kamplan." 

It's not controversial like the Ajax mine or flashy like a proposed performing arts centre, but it may be more important than either of those issues. 

Kamplan is the big picture vision articulated by city council, and carried out by the city's planning staff. 

It's like the combination of a crystal ball and a set of rose-coloured glasses, combining the most realistic vision of what will happen with the best case scenario that the city can direct with its bylaws. 

The reason it's so important is because it affects every little part of life in Kamloops - from how we get around the city, to what developments are allowed and encouraged in our neighbourhoods, to what infrastructure we need to bring our fresh water to us and our wastewater away from us. 

For a lot of Kamloopsians, it's taken as a given that those aspects of our lives are planned out and make sense. 

But that's a heck of a lot of pressure to put on one city council and group of planning staff. 

I've already lost a lot of you. 

You've nodded off, and that's okay. 

You see, we only have so much brain power, and we only have so much energy. 

Not only that, life in 2017 North America has trained our brains to focus on the day-to-day routines and minutiae of life, without zooming out to consider the big picture. 

Blue sky thinking is the exception, not the norm. 

We can't see the forest for all the trees. 

But because no one does big picture thinking is precisely why someone needs to do it. 

The person we have tasked to lead that process is Ken Christian who, during the by-election campaign, stubbornly stuck to emphasizing Kamplan when questions from all sides focused on the more immediate issues, some of which were concluded in the past, and some of which municipal council doesn't have a say in.

One of council's jobs is to set direction for the city, and it's a hopeful sign that our leaders understand they need to take a few steps back to really get the best view of Kamloops.