Justin Hanson aims for Sooke council seat

Local resident and lawyer brings pro-amalgamation issue forward

  • Oct. 29, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Justin Hanson

Though born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, I moved to Canada at the age of 12 and have lived in the CRD ever since. I have resided in Saanich, Victoria, Esquimalt, Langford and Sooke. I have lived in Sooke for the past three years and have fallen in love with the community and the natural beauty of the place.

I am married and have two daughters aged five and 19 months.  Both my wife and I work. Although we have an office in Sooke, like many of our neighbours we commute to Victoria, or Langford several times a week.   I believe my concerns at the municipal level would align closely with those of working parents of school-aged children.

I am a lawyer by trade and have been practicing law in the CRD for the past 10 years. My primary practice area is in strata property law. I have advised or represented approximately 400 strata corporations and dozens of individual owners all across Vancouver Island, from Victoria in the South, to Campbell River in the North. In this capacity I have been heavily engaged with the “fourth level of government” for a number of years carrying out a multitude of tasks including: development, dispute resolutions, litigation, and bylaw drafting and enforcement. My representation of strata corporations has taught me the importance of being principled but impartial, flexible yet cognizant and respective of the constraints of governing legislation and limited budgets.  Through my practice I have learned the importance of creating and sticking to a budget that will not cause financial hardship to the homeowners or businesses. I have learned that wild promises are seldom achievable and often create expectations that simply cannot be met. I deal daily with the reality that limited budgets will often result in  popular and flashy projects being set aside in favour of  mundane but necessary maintenance.  I am often called upon to lend assistance in solving disputes between owners and strata councils.  In addition, I have firsthand experience with municipal zoning,  land use bylaws and council procedure. I know the courses that conflicts between people, business and municipalities take. I have an understanding in what is involved in land development and financing from a developer’s point of view. I will bring my dedication to impartiality, making common sense decision, diligence, transparency and accountability to a position on the Sooke council.

I am an avid paddler and can often be seen paddling a SUP along Sooke’s shorelines. I strongly believe Sooke’s natural beauty and our harbor are our greatest assets and we should increase access to them.

I am drawn to pro amalgamation because at a core level I feel there must be a better way for the people and communities that make up the CRD to govern themselves. The current system with its 91 mayors and councillors, five police departments, six 911 call centers,  hundreds of different zoning bylaws and building code regulations, uncoordinated road and traffic plans, and their demonstrated inability to work together on common causes is not working for us and has proven itself incapable of addressing the regional issues that affect us all.

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