While I believe that climate change is an issue, that will in time have negative affects on the municipality of North Saanich, I do not support the idea of spending municipal taxpayers money and wasting staff time on lawsuits against oil and gas companies.
Over the last four years, new building requirements around sea level rise have been coming online and the North Saanich staff are on top of all the latest changes, and inform council via staff reports as to how we need to make changes. Climate change action is a developing story, and I’m happy to support any changes necessary to keep our residents and their property safe.
As the province, and Canada as a whole moves towards achieving initiatives towards a greener future,
I would explore supporting these initiatives as well, on a case by case basis.
North Saanich has a great history when it comes to farming, with approximately 3173 acres of ALR land. I want to work with local farmers to make sure we are doing everything we can to support their needs. Approximately 60% of the farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, are over the age of 55, and very few have succession plans in place. Most will rely on the sale of their properties as a retirement fund. At an average cost of $250,000 per acre for raw ALR land, who can afford to start farming?
This unfortunately is not a problem that one municipality can fix. I would support (together with our neighbouring municipalities) asking the province and the federal government to look into this further. We need to find innovative ways to make farming in our community a viable prospect for future generations.
Getting the public interested in municipal affairs can be quite challenging at times. Getting a broad view of opinions on one topic or another is very important in how councils make decisions.
I support community consultation and feel that meaningful, respectable dialog yields the best result.
I’m happy to speak with residents to understand their points of view, knowing that we may not always agree, and being respectful of those differences. The District has many ways to communicate, and I will support looking at more ways in which we can get more residents involved.
Over the last four years, I have had affordable housing at the top of my mind. With today’s expensive land values and high cost of construction, affordable housing usually takes a back seat. For years, councils did not want to tackle the complex issues surrounding the lack of affordable housing in our community. As part of my platform in 2014, affordable housing continues to be a big part of my decision making today!
I want to work with property owners and developers to create truly attainable housing in zoning areas 1 (McTavish) and area 2 (Tsehum) as laid out in North Saanich bylaw 1352.
My time on Sidney council has given me great skills in negotiation when it comes to getting the best deal for the residents and developers. I also understand the intricate partnerships between non-profit organizations and for profit developers, that are key to creating attainable housing.
I feel that these are the best places in North Saanich to create these type of attainable housing projects, as they are close to Sidney’s amenities, and are near to transportation routes. This is key to any successful attainable project.
The problem of affordable and rental housing is large and will not be fixed overnight, but if elected, I will continue to work with developers and non-profit organizations to provide even more options for our residents that find it hard to get by in this outrageous housing market.
Official Community Plan (OCP ) Review
The Official Community Plan, shall guide and direct decision-making on all aspects of land use and development within the District of North Saanich. The Plan is an important statement of community values and goals. The Official Community Plan takes a long-range view of land use, and forms the basis for regulatory bylaws.
As population and development increase in the area, the Plan should be used to assist the Council with it’s decision-making process. The OCP is now 11 years old, and I would support a minor review to make sure that the document is current and and all policies are relevant.