War of words over Sidney Gateway rages on

Reviews, and critiques of critiques, delve into very subjective numbers, personal comments.

As the Gateway project was approved to go to a public hearing in the fall, the war of words over its impact on Sidney’s downtown, continued.

On July 6, the PNR reported Richard Talbot, an international retail consultant and head of a local council watchdog group, critiqued the Urbanics report and information collecting done for it by Abingdon Research.

It was a 10-page critique, challenging the numbers used in the Urbanics report that would point to a predicted net benefit to Sidney should Gateway proceed. In response, Councillor Peter Wainwright on Monday night, July 11. filed a rebuttal. He said that Talbot’s comments were mostly based on opinion and uses worst-case scenario figures on population growth, average sales data and more.

“The overall tone of (Talbot’s) report was derogatory,” Wainwright said. “He makes some statements that are really quite unprofessional.”

He referenced a comment by Talbot on the use of a “belated survey” by Urbanics, calling that pure speculation on Talbot’s part.

“It has no place in an objective review.”

Wainwright outlined other issues he found with Talbot’s submission, noting, “I do not find this review credible.”

Mayor Steve Price added Talbot, and by extension his Support Our Sidney group — and even the News Review for publishing Talbot’s concerns — does “a disservice by spreading propaganda.”

“And then we have to spend a lot of our time to debunk it,” Price continued.

Following the July 11 council meeting, the debate continued via emails between Talbot and Wainwright. They got into predictions over population growth and other numbers.

Talbot shot back that his review was not an official peer review and Wainwright was nit picking over the details.

“That is why you get the big bucks and I just volunteer my time,” Talbot wrote. “My role is merely to point out at the macro level that the Urbanics and Abingdon studies are seriously flawed and skewed in favour of the VAA and that such a peer review is essential if Council is to have any credibility going forward.”

Coun. Wainwright responded that Talbot’s rebuttal was opinion.

“If Mr. Talbot is choosing to disregard sources of data used by Urbanics he should explain why he chooses to do this. Otherwise the reader is likely to conclude that he didn’t read the Urbanics report thoroughly when preparing his review.”

Both sides seem to agree all numbers on all sides are subjective and the actual outcome of an impact on Sidney by Gateway, is hard to predict.

Price has stated the Town will not seek a peer review prior to taking the Gateway rezoning proposal to the community in a public hearing.

Just Posted

Sidney seeks transparency over proposed Beacon building

First significant redevelopment along main street is a five-storey structure

No break-ins yet this holiday season, but lock up just in case

The holiday season is an enticing time for would-be thieves looking for… Continue reading

Saanich Peninsula firefighters’ food drive this Saturday

Annual food-and-fund-raiser hopes to top last year’s donations; at least in cash

Central Saanich veteran receives Legion of Honour from France

Kenneth Brind flew 30 bombing missions over France during the Second World War

Three-year old fundraises for new hospital rocking chair

When Sarah Coopsie and Mike Christians were at Victoria General Hospital with… Continue reading

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Coins for Kids campaign is back!

News Review helping collect money to buy presents for children on the Saanich Peninsula

Peninsula Santa’s Helpers get $2,000 toy donation

Realtor Chace Whitson and builder Carson Shanks challenge others to do the same

Chamber of commerce warns Sidney businesses of possible scam

SIDNEY — Business owners in Sidney are warning each other about a… Continue reading

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Victoria water main break forces closure of George Jay elementary for the day

City crews were able to restore water service to school by mid-afternoon

Most Read