Central Saanich candidates address the issues

Candidates call for safety improvements, more transportation networks and more

Mayor Ryan Windsor will remain at the helm in Central Saanich where he was elected in 2014, so when voters head to the polls they will choose six councillors from the nine who have put their name forth. We asked each candidate how they would make the municipality a better place and to outline their top three key initiatives. Here are their responses.

Chris Graham

1. Safe highway access and improved transportation networks for cars, people, bikes, and horses.

2. Establishing densification guidelines that encourages redevelopment that is sensitive to existing neighborhoods.

3. Infrastructure renewal: making sure that as our facilities need to be replaced or upgraded that we have the necessary resources in place.

Stewardship: coming from a pioneer family, it is important for me to give back to this community. I want to ensure that our community is sustainable, maintaining our excellent quality of life. This means focusing on stable finances, with debt loads as minimal as possible, and protecting our natural world by achieving a balance between future growth, while preserving and enhancing our agricultural and rural land base. I build relationships: meeting the ministers of transportation and infrastructure and of agriculture and making significant progress in both areas. I bring the experience of serving five terms on council.

Carl Jensen

1. Affordable Housing

2. Economic Development

3. Mobility

I would make my municipality a better place by continuing to support the development of affordable housing in all of its formats. I initiated a conversation with the chairperson of the Greater Victoria Housing Society where I asked the question, “How can we as a municipality support the great work being done by your organization?” I was told that encouraging and supporting development partnerships was key. Several meetings and one tour for council members later, we have received and subsequently approved partnership proposals from GVHS for two affordable housing projects in Central Saanich.

I believe that affordable housing in all of its formats including rentals, suites, condominiums, townhouses and single family dwellings will provide the greatest opportunity for families of all income levels the chance to live here.

Zeb King

1. Promoting a healthy, age-friendly, safe and affordable community in which to live, walk, boat, work and ride.

2. Encouraging and facilitating citizen involvement, including fostering positive relationships with First Nations.

3. Ensuring smart growth is consistent with our long-term community plans, while supporting agriculture and food security.

Central Saanich has grown since it was created in the 1950s, and new safe public transportation networks are needed so that people can safely go from Point A to point B. As an example I’m committed to improving public transit, car sharing, trails, sidewalks and cycling routes. In the spirit of the Climate Action Plan, I look forward to working with residents to achieve this goal of healthy, sustainable transportation network.

Gord Newton

1. Work to expedite the safe and sustainable development of the Keating Business District, including finally getting a safe access off the Pat Bay highway for residents, farmers, businesses and tourists.

2. Strive to provide affordable and attainable housing for seniors, local workers and young families. My goal is by the end of my term to have more children in our community not less.

3. Ensure prudent fiscal responsibility across the entire municipality. As a small business owner I understand how important managing expenses is and getting value for your tax dollar.

I would like to work to improve everyone’s quality of life. Whether that means improving commuting and improving road safety (Pat Bay Highway), a stronger sense of community by encouraging more community events and promoting shopping locally and supporting local farms. Bring people together and connect face to face, not phone to phone.

Niall Paltiel

1. Traffic Safety – Create an Active Transportation Plan with meaningful improvements to enhance safety for everyone who shares the roads in Central Saanich;

2. Affordability – Continue to make Central Saanich an affordable place to live and work by respecting your tax dollars and by creating a range of housing options; and

3. Sustainability – Protecting and enhancing our farmland, trails, and our shorelines for today and for future generations.

I am running for re-election so that we can continue to make Central Saanich a more vibrant community – one with opportunities for families, employees, and seniors. As a born-and-raised resident, small business owner, and tax-paying homeowner, this is where I want to start a family and support my parents as they age.

Kathryn Parfitt

Raising light to the following issues:

1. Aging infrastructure and community accessibility;

2. Responsible and sustainable housing expansion;

3. Cannabis legalization and its impact on our community.

My vision for Central Saanich is one that demonstrates the true meaning of community. Whether it’s through enhancing programs that promote volunteering, co-operatives or mentorship programs that bring neighbours together; or planning events that enhance our well-being by asking families to get out and unplug from their online lifestyles, I understand the impact of traditional values on a growing population. I recognize the need to listen and learn what’s important to the members of this municipality: because those experiences are what make up a community. I aim to increase the strength of our public voices, through awareness and acknowledgment that in some ways they’re currently being overlooked. I am thoughtful and sensitive to considering all angles and outcomes for anyone involved before making a decision, and these issues combined are how I choose to effect change.

Tayler Ruygrok

Did not respond

Joshua Steeper

1. Retain rural, family-oriented community.

2. Address overdue traffic infrastructure projects.

3. Amalgamate with North Saanich and Sidney into the District of the Peninsula.

Amalgamation into the District of the Peninsula.

There is a laundry list of incremental improvements all candidates agree on (traffic lights at Mount Newton and Wallace; Keating Overpass; connecting sidewalks). I’m interested in bringing our community a big step – and a big choice.

Together, our Peninsula community we can think regionally and develop sustainably. We can provide better government service. We can retain unique neighbourhoods and avoid the pressure to be all things to all people. We can speak as a collective to advance all of our interests.

Making the change will require a bold citizenry to break the cycle of “we need another study.”

The winds have shifted and this step looks to be inevitable. Rather than digging our heels in and pushing-back, it is time to chart our course and move our communities forward.

Bob Thompson

1. Create opportunities for affordable and workforce housing – and maintain the quality of life in established residential neighbourhoods. Complete the Residential Infill project to resolve how we can make change but stay the same.

2. Establish and implement a community Active Transportation Plan to build safer walking and cycling networks in Central Saanich, including multi-use trails.

3. Financial sustainability and responsibility – balance between keeping tax increases low and meeting demands for improved services like pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Life is already pretty good in Central Saanich. I believe the biggest improvement would be to address concerns about pedestrian and cyclist safety, which could include a range of projects from reducing speed limits on neighbourhood streets (40km/hr) and traffic calming to new sidewalks and multi-use trails. The first step would be to carry out an Active Transportation plan to identify community concerns, prioritize projects – and then find the money.

 

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