Rebecca Mersereau is once again running for Saanich council. She missed a council seat by 30 votes in 2014 and 102 votes in the 2017 byelection. Wolfgang Depner/Saanich News

Consultant to compete again for council

Rebecca Mersereau enters the race for Saanich council for a third after two close calls

Rebecca Mersereau is more than familiar with the saying ‘third time’s the charm’ as she enters her third campaign in four years for a seat on Saanich council.

Mersereau finished second in the 2017 byelection just 102 votes behind Coun. Karen Harper. In 2014, she finished just 30 votes behind Coun. Leif Wergeland. In short, Mersereau has come very close twice, only to fall short by razor-thin margins.

“I prefer not rely on luck,” she said in interview after announcing her 2018 candidacy. “I find the results quite motivating,” she said.

A utility management consultant, Mersereau enters the race as a presence on local and regional advisory committees, and as a familiar face in Saanich affairs, who nonetheless appears as an outside voice critical of the status quo. A self-described “policy geek,” Mersereau has also called for a less confrontational, more co-operative approach towards governance that promises to restore Saanich’s credibility among the public.

She said in a video announcing her candidacy that she is running to achieve a “more affordable, walkable and complete” community.

“We urgently need more leadership on regional transportation challenges and environmental stewardship to safe neighbourhood character and biodiversity,” she said. “We also need to manage our finances responsibly in a way that safeguards the well-being of future generations.”

She later said that her definition of a complete community is a community that incorporates land-planning decisions with transportation decisions. Next to housing, transportation is often the highest cost people face. A more integrated approach that increases density around transportation modes and amenities could reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and lower the cost-of-the-living by giving people more options to get around, she said.

Millennials, she added, are also less likely to have their own cars. Seniors would also benefit from a transportation system that relies less on private automobiles.

Saanich also stands to benefit both ecologically and economically from protecting its biodiversity. It contributes to the desirable esthetics of Saanich and helps protect the community against the effects of climate change, said Mersereau, who has been critical of Saanich’s decision to eliminate theEnvironmental Development Permit Area bylaw, without first considering recommendations from an independent review funded by Saanich taxpayers.

“It’s a natural landscape unlike any other landscape,” she said.

Mersereau also plans to protect the interests of younger taxpayers in expressing concerns about Saanich’s desire to keep taxes low in the present,thereby deferring future infrastructure costs to younger generations.

Saanich, she said, has done a good job of avoiding the mistakes of other communities who have neglected their infrastructure. Similar to private homeowners, Saanich should continue to set aside revenues to maintain assets, unless it is willing to accept diminished services, or face significantly higher costs in the future.

Mersereau acknowledges that this argument can be read as an argument for higher taxes, but she is unfazed. “I’m willing to take the heat,” she said.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich walks the walk on crosswalk after student lobbied for improvements

Elanor Teel approached first Saanich about the intersection in March 2017

North Saanich curling club donates to Peninsula food bank

More than $2,000 in surplus funds raised from 50/50 draws

One in five Canadians reported they had one or more disabilities in 2017, survey shows

Persons with disabilities had lower personal incomes compared to those without disabilities

Grange Road residents optimistic CRD will change pipeline plans

Marigold residents are concerned about the loss of up to 50 trees

Victoria police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

Victoria axe thrower targets world championships

Former pitcher to compete at World Axe Throwing League Championships in Chicago

POLL: Are you giving to charities over the holiday season?

In the holiday rush, amidst the hustle and bustle to find that… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 4, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Battle over Saanich’s Haro Woods not yet over, says report

Draft management plan calls on Saanich to spend $142,500 to improve area

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

Most Read