The last day of advance voting for the North Saanich byelection is Wednesday, with the final chance to vote on Saturday, April 6.
Eight candidates are vying for the open seat. Here are some of the key issues they would like to address:
Rosemarie (Romi) Bongers
• Affordable housing
• Doctors/nurse practitioners
• I will work to preserve and improve agricultural, marine and rural assets, support initiatives that promote clean energy and environmental protection of our rich ecosystems.
• I will promote and support physical, cultural and artistic participation as part of a healthy community.
• I will use the OCP and community consultation as vital parts of the decision-making process.
• Principled land use decisions – I support sensible development consistent with the Official Community Plan while preserving farmland and the rural character of North Saanich
• Improved access to health care – I will work with stakeholders to attract doctors and support innovations in care delivery
• Increased consultation and engagement, especially with the upcoming review of the Official Community Plan
• Teamwork – a high functioning council is the result of cohesive teamwork
• Facilitation – facilitate individual community members in having their issues addressed
• Communication – listen to what everyone has to say and honour their viewpoint
• Climate change and sustainability – work on fire suppression strategies to keep North Saanich safe from potential wildfires; remove contamination from waterways to improve creeks and Saanich Inlet; supporting farming supports the environment, good farming practices can pull carbon from the atmosphere
• Community engagement – one-on-one conversations and reaching out to community organizations in North Saanich; connect people to benefit both the environment and strengthen community values
• Affordability and quality of life – addressing the transit needs of people with disabilities helps all residents have better transit options, safer sidewalks, and better parking where needed
• High property taxes
• Affordable housing
• Supporting the local farming industry
Did not respond to the invitation to participate, but has made public statements saying he would be a good balance to the current council, agrees with gradual implementation of green initiatives and would seek more affordable housing in what he calls an “outrageous” market.
• Support implementation of the Communication Strategy and encourage dialogue and engagement.
• Increase food security, support existing farmers, and remove barriers for new farmers.
• Update and plan to meet the District’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Polls are open at the municipal hall in North Saanich from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.