ELECTION 2014: Candidate QandA with Heather Gartshore

Candidate QandA with councillor candidate Heather Gartshore

  • Oct. 31, 2014 7:00 a.m.
Heather Gartshore

Heather Gartshore

Occupation: Former social worker.

Background: 26 years as an active and effective North Saanich community leader and advocate.

1.  Why are you running for Council?

I have a keen interest in local government and a solid track record that includes work on the North Saanich Residents Association, the North Saanich Parks Commission and local-issue task forces. I have been encouraged to run by many residents who have expressed their confidence in my commitment to consensus building and evidence-based decision making. I am committed to returning good governance to the council chambers, which is what North Saanich residents expect and deserve.

2.  What are your top three issues to tackle, if elected?

• The development of a Local Area Plan in response to recent OCP changes that addresses growth in the McTavish/East Saanich/Canora Road area. A comprehensive public engagement process in which residents have confidence, will achieve this.

• The development of a vision and a plan for future use of the former Sandown racetrack as a productive agricultural parcel that supports healthy locally produced food.

• Restoring public confidence in local government.

3.  What are your priorities for housing policy in North Saanich?

I will respect the Official Community Plan as the voice of North Saanich residents, and as a guide to decision making, recognizing that it needs to be amended from time to time to ensure relevancy. I will continue to advocate for, and support, careful planning for housing, including that which meets specific identified needs.

4.  What are your thoughts on industrial, residential and agricultural balance in North Saanich?

The mix appears to be working well for North Saanich at this time. I would encourage and support any initiatives for improved planning with Sidney as our nearest neighbor. I support the preservation of agricultural land.

5.  What can residents expect of your behaviour on council this term?

Residents can count on me to engage with them, and to be informed, collaborative, respectful and responsive.  As a steward of our community, I will be accountable to the electorate.