With the upcoming Central Saanich election on April 13, I, like many other residents, have started doing research on the platforms for each of the many candidates vying for two spots.
From what I can see, reviving the Keating industrial area seems to be on most agendas. Which is fantastic because that area is definitely under utilized and needs a vision and a council that will implement key changes to support new business and growth.
My big question is what the new councilors will do to prevent WoodWynn’s Executive Director, Richard LeBlanc, from bullying the community into changing the zoning of the198 acres of ALR land. Leblanc wants to see movie nights, dance halls and a mess hall built.
In order to do that he wants to amend the A-1 Agricultural Zoning all in the name of the Therapeutic Program. We’ve had farmers in Central Saanich long before LeBlanc and they have run businesses and gone through cycles of prosperity, struggle and adapting all the while protecting the purpose of the Agricultural Land Reserve. LeBlanc is coming from a place of entitlement.
I completely support the cause and the desire to better the lives of others but I think there is a better way to win community support than by bullying. I hope the new councilors will stand firm and keep the zoning while also working towards finding mutually beneficial solutions.