Large crowd at Mayors’ Breakfast

Members of the community got together at the Institute of Ocean Sciences last week to hear updates and comments from three mayors

Sidney Councillor Mervyn Lougher-Goodey (right) talks with Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson at the Sannich Peninsula Chamber's annual Mayors' Breakfast on Feb. 7.

Housing density in North Saanich, a business improvement area in Sidney and staff turnover in Central Saanich were all topics covered at the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mayors’ Breakfast held last week.

On Feb. 7, around 80 members of the community got together at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in North Saanich to hear updates and comments from the three mayors on the Saanich Peninsula.

North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall started the conversation by touching on a few of the newsworthy topics from the municipality over the last year, including the discussions on density in the municipality that are ongoing.

“All of our council supports affordable housing,” Finall said during her speech, adding that council will aim to hear the public’s voice in the matter during upcoming community meetings and open houses.

“We already hosted one open house and there are two more of them to come,” she said.

Finall also touched on other news from the municipality including the assessed value of the B.C. Ferry terminal possibly affecting the district’s tax base and the positive business growth in North Saanich which mainly took place on airport land.

“We saw business expansion in North Saanich from the new 443 Squadron hangar to the Sobey’s warehouse to Ramsay Machinery,” Finall said.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross touched on the selection of new Thursday Night Market operator, negotiations for a pedestrian overpass at Beacon Avenue, work on the new roundabout, implementation of electric vehicle charging stations and the push for the business community to come together in Sidney.

“Last year I spoke of the fragmentation in the business community in Sidney and this year, thanks to a group of business leaders who started the Sidney Business Development Group we saw that community come together,” said Cross, who added that the process for a BIA is in full swing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the BIA and unifying business in Sidney,” he said.

Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson spoke mainly on new staffers at the district, including CAO Patrick Robins and Bruce Grieg who was promoted to Director of Planning and Building Services in December after previously serving as District Planner and Assistant Planner since 2005. Bryson also spoke about cooperation between the three municipalities and four First Nations on the Saanich Peninsula.

“We have to start looking at where we can cooperate. I want to see us building more of a relationship with each other. We need to start looking at synergy” said Bryson.

The morning was closed with comments from Chamber president John Treleaven and new Executive Director Chris Fudge.

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