Occupation: Mayor of North Saanich
Background: Retired local lawyer
1. Why are you running for Council?
My commitment to this municipality is deep and longstanding. I have had extensive encouragement and support from residents to run for another term, confirming their desire for the strong leadership qualities and experience I am able to bring to this position. Many have commented on the community need for my voice of reason and respect in the Mayor’s chair and at the council table.
2. What are your top three issues to tackle, if elected?
a. The current council implemented a major change in direction in land use policies to allow urban density levels of land development. Is this what residents want? I support a meaningful OCP review with early, extensive resident input, as mandated by provincial legislation, to give us a true community vision for future land use policy.
b. I want to work with all council members to achieve respectful behaviour, emphasizing procedural bylaws and code of conduct, as was the consistent practice during my first term as mayor. This is essential for council to work effectively.
c. I will continue responsible fiscal planning to protect our low residential tax rate, together with an economic planning strategy in keeping with the District’s unique nature and needs.
3. What are your priorities for housing policy in North Saanich?
Two District Housing Strategy Reports have identified those families and workforce employees most in need of affordable housing. If we are to meet these needs, council must establish effective affordable housing policies, similar to other municipalities.
4. What are your thoughts on industrial, residential and agricultural balance in North Saanich?
Our District has been able to achieve an unusually harmonious balance through policies of our Official Community Plans. The high level of industrial activity is mostly located in certain areas, for example the airport lands. Continued increase in numbers of business licenses granted here illustrate the degree to which North Saanich provides a desirable place to carry on business. For residents there is no question that North Saanich is a desirable place to live and has the lowest property tax rate in the region. Our agriculture industry is one of the most important business sectors in the municipality, both historically and currently, along with transportation and the marine industry. As world pressures on food production and supply continue to increase, I see our farmland as an increasingly important asset.
5. What can residents expect of your behaviour on council this term?
I will continue my own adherence to principles of courtesy and civility, emphasizing consultative decision making with a focus on the needs of our whole municipality, avoiding special interests and team politics.