Most people running for Kamloops city council haven’t toured the province as a musician or experienced extreme poverty and homelessness, but candidate Chris Bose has done both and now wants to take on the challenges of municipal government.
Bose, now in his 40s, grew up in Kamloops and left home when he was a teenager. After touring around Canada and the United States in a band, Bose came back to Kamloops in 1996 at age 24 to take a bachelor of arts degree at the University College of the Cariboo (UCC) with plans on becoming a lawyer.
While at university he succeeded in getting elected as the students’ union’s First Nations representative, then as the First Nations Student Society vice-president. He then became president of the UCC Students’ Union during what Bose called a “tense year;” one in which he learned a lot about the way administration works, how people who get elected have agendas of their own and how it can be difficult to find common ground on some issues.
“It was a learning experiencing, I learned how to deal with limited time, I learned to deal with difficult people,” Bose said.
Bose plans to campaign on campus and get students, who are traditionally non-voters, out to the polls.
“I want to include students in this, more transportation, more housing. If we want to change the face of politicians, we must change the face of who votes,” Bose said. “There was 21% turn out in the last by-election, that’s because people don’t feel like their voices matter. I want to change that”.
When it came to local Kamloops issues Bose said he would fight for affordable housing, which he personally feels is important given his personal history of trying to raise a family with two jobs and an income that just wasn’t quite enough.
The Omega asked Bose about the idea of turning the McGill SD73 bus depot into student housing and he enthusiastically backed the idea of land swapping with the school district for more student housing.
Bose also said he wants to engage Indigenous people in Kamloops who represent around ten per cent of the city but, according to Bose, have never had a seat on city council.
“I don’t think Kamloops has elected any First Nations people to council. Mike McKenzie ran in the last by-election and I think people said that he was the first First Nations person to go for Mayor,” he said. “I hope to get elected so I can inspire other people of colour, minorities and people left out of the process to run.”
The election for city council is on the 20th of October.