Central Saanich tries again at Co-op development

Central Saanich opts to see task through with help from Ida Chong, despite well-known Co-op alternative

The Capital Regional District denying Central Saanich’s request to allow the Co-op to build outside the urban settlement area didn’t sit well and the council opted to seek some outside help.

Under the Local Government Act they asked the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Ida Chong, to intervene.

“Given the nature of the issue and because there have been changes to your council as a result of the recent civic elections, I believe discussions between the district and the CRD would be a prudent next step before directing the conflict to formal dispute resolution,” Chong wrote to council.

Despite the fact that the Peninsula Co-op has publicly stated it has signed an agreement to build its food market, gas bar and the Co-op’s administration on Tsartlip land, the district will move forward with the application still before them for the West Saanich Road location.

“I think council should be having a meeting with the various parties to come to some resolution,” said Coun. Garrison.

Coun. Zeb King tested the waters around the table to see if “there still support for this proposal the way it has been in the past.”

“It deserves to continue to go forward,” said Coun. Terry Siklenka.

Mayor Alastair Bryson and chief administrative officer Gary Nason will attend the meeting. The minister gave them a deadline of March 16 to report back in writing.

Councillors Cathie Ounsted and Adam Olsen left the discussion citing conflict. Ounsted is on the Co-op board of directors and Olsen is a member of the Tsartlip band.

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