After the cancellation of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s all-candidates event, Central Saanich was left without one. So, the Saanich Inlet Protection Society (SIPS) is hosting their own.
SIPS has never hosted an all-candidate meeting before, but since no other community organizations were hosting such a meeting, SIPS wanted to step up.
“This sort of thing really isn’t part of SIPS usual activities, but the Board felt that there should be at least one all candidates meeting in the municipality, and no-one else seemed ready to do it,” said board member Ian Cameron. “The meeting is about all the issues of interest to the voters of Central Saanich, not just matters concerning Saanich Inlet, although I’m sure that will come up.”
Their event is scheduled for Sat. Oct 6 in the Brentwood Bay Community Hall on Wallace Drive, west of West Saanich Road. Door will open at 6 p.m, and the meeting runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is by donation to pay for the hall rental. Candidates may choose to rent tables beforehand to speak to voters and display literature.
Cameron said in the past, the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich hosted an all-candidates forum. As former president of that group, Cameron acted as moderator for seven or eight all-candidates meetings. However, the group disbanded and no one has stepped in.
Candidates will be able to make brief opening and closing statements, but most of the meeting will consist of questions. The meeting will not take questions from the floor, but instead will take written submissions. Pen and paper will be provided when residents arrive. Wayne Watkins will sort through questions and topics will be addressed based on their popularity.
Cameron expects the cleanup of Brentwood Bay will be one topic that will be discussed.
Eight of nine council candidates said they would be there, with one apologizing because he is best man at his best friend’s wedding in Calgary — a long-standing commitment.
“I think he made the right choice,” said Cameron.