If Ray Dhaliwal becomes mayor, he would have a rip-roarin’ 66th birthday (which happens to be election day, Oct. 15), park his lime green Barracuda at city hall and get to work helping residents impacted by crime.
Dhaliwal — a Brocklehurst resident who owns Ray’s Lock and Key downtown, hosts Canada Day festivities at Riverside Park and previously served on council — said residents should vote for him to tackle safety and security. Dhaliwal said he deals with people through his business who are “fed up.”
He is not the only candidate running to tackle street issues. However, Dhaliwal said he is not worried about vote-splitting with fellow candidate Reid Hamer-Jackson because Hamer-Jackson is focussed on establishing recovery.
“Too much focus is on the drug addicts, the homelessness down there,” Dhaliwal said. “Not enough attention has been paid to you and me, the regular citizens, taxpaying citizens — and that’s who I’d like to represent, is those people and get our city back living again.”
Dhaliwal also noted a need for good-paying jobs for young people and support for family amenities, including pools and ice rinks, to help prevent young people from getting into trouble.
Dhaliwal previously intended to run a slate of candidates under the Action 22 Kamloops banner, which was registered with Elections BC.
He said the slate was started in January because he wanted to see change on council, but noted that since then, a significant number of incumbent councillors have announced they will not run. He said the slate is no longer necessary and that he is now running as a “sole candidate.”
Dhaliwal was a city councillor from 2017 to 2018, having won a seat in a byelection. He accused previous city councillors and staff of bullying during his time on council.
He cited a closed-door resolution that he claimed strong-armed the Kamloops Multicultural Society, of which he is president, via funding and not being put on the city’s community services committee (overseeing police), despite having spoken out about crime during his campaign.
Dhaliwal said he is not worried about starting off with rocky relationships, noting he would begin his term as mayor by having conversations about issues.
Dhaliwal failed his re-election bid in 2018 and spent the least ($200) of all candidates on his campaign, according to Elections BC. Dhaliwal finished 730 votes behind Bill Sarai, who took the eighth and final council seat. Dhaliwal said he is putting in more money and effort during this election campaign.
He is also involved with the Kamloops and District Chamber of Commerce, the North Shore Business Improvement Association and the Kamloops Brock Central Lions Club.
Dhaliwal, whose dad worked at a Chrysler dealership, is also a car collector and has eight collector vehicles. His campaign car is a bright , lime green 1970 AAR Barracuda, which is a highly sought-after collector’s vehicle. Dhaliwal hopes to one day park the ‘Cuda in the mayor’s parking spot, off First Avenue.
“My bedroom was that colour in 1970,” he said.