Sidney supports current CRD rec model

Town council votes to support how Panorama Recreation is being governed.

If the Town of Sidney has its way, recreation services on the Saanich Peninsula will remain under the control of the Capital Regional District for years to come.

Council on Monday, Oct. 28 voted unanimously to endorse the current governance structure of local recreation services. In so doing, they decided not  to favour Councillor Tim Chad’s motion to have recreation shift to the control of the three area municipalities and the local recreation commission.

Chad was not at the meeting to cast a vote on his motion to forward the issue to the upcoming tri-municipal meeting agenda in Central Saanich.

Chad had earlier argued he felt it was time for recreational services — paid for by Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich — could and should be managed locally, severing ties with the CRD.

“I wonder why,” asked Mayor Larry Cross on Monday. “Is it broken? Does something need to be fixed?”

Cross said it took years to get all three municipalities on board and the current governance structure (the CRD handles much of that) is working well.

“Even Councillor Chad is a booster of the accomplishments (of Panorama Recreation), so I don’t feel it’s broken,” said the mayor.

Coun. Mervyn Lougher-Goodey agreed, noting that the recreation facility itself uses heat from a waste water energy capture program made possible by the CRD.

“The three municipalities could never have leveraged that sort of thing,” he said.

Lougher-Goodey added few people seem worried about local recreation governance — other than Chad.