Saanich council: Candidate profiles and positions

We asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire about their background and their positions on some issues facing their communities.

Here are their answers, as submitted by them. The answers are split into two sections: information about the candidates, and their views on issues facing the community.

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Candidates

There are 18 people running for eight council positions:

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Benjamin Allan

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I grew up here, went to school here, got married here and started a family here. My wife and I want our daughter to grow up here too.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Becoming a father inspired me to run for Saanich council. I want to ensure that Saanich continues to be a green, vibrant and sustainable community for future generations

What are your top three issues?

Housing is a fundamental human right; we all deserve a safe place to call home.

With our rental vacancy rate below one percent, it has become nearly impossible to find rental housing.

I believe in a balanced approach to development, Saanich is a beautiful municipality full of, forests, parks and waterways that need to be protected.

I believe in better support for the growing senior population, we need to work together to enable their continued involvement in the communities they helped create.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I envision a Saanich that is welcoming, vibrant and safe; a diverse population with a strong sense of community. A municipality with active community members whose voices are heard and considered in the planning process. I envision a municipality that offers a wide range of housing, education and employment opportunities. A Saanich that doesn’t put the financial cost of today onto the generations of tomorrow.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Community engagement. Something that Saanich should adopt from the city of Victoria is having each councilor as a neighbourhood liaison. When you have an issue you can bring it to the attention of your neighbourhoods liaison. They can act as your first point of contact at Saanich Municipal Hall by helping you connect with the right staff, department or service available. You of course could contact any councilor you prefer as they are elected to represent all of Saanich.

Trevor Barry

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

+5 years, #NorthQuadra community association Board (Director escalating to executive officer)

+3 years, Saanich Citizen Advisory Committee (30yr #UptownDouglas corridor plan)

+Founding executive officer, director, Best Coast Big Band society (incl. registering constitution, bylaws)

+Management professional positions in Student Affairs/Housing/Leadership at UVic, UBC (following illustrious student career beforehand)

+Residence Hall President, Place Vanier (UBC 2002)

+Student Body President, Ecole Mission Secondary School (1999 :-P)

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Growing young family chose Saanich 5yr ago (before market went bonkers). AGM of NQCA, got recruited by Vic Derman, Haji Charania. Home reno DPA process, red tape set us back 6mo & $5000.

+2yr SFU City Program

+Saanich Citizen Advisory.

+Vic passed away. My polito emerged.

Supported, campaigned for BOTH Rob W & Rebecca M, byelxn!

...Climate Action, Economic Efficiency (DSM!), #OpenData, Mobility & #SmartGrowth, activation of parks, rec centres, cultural events;Governance. Oh boy, governance!

What are your top three issues?

Community.Equity.Governance.

I still have space left... so...

Trevor Barry is THE VOICE for millennials, and EVERY SAANICH RESIDENT who believes in ECONOMICALLY-EFFICIENT ideas to achieve a SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Mobility TDM, other DSM, #SmartGrowth, #GenerationSqueeze #vanRE #affordabilitycrisis, Beer at Picnics, #OpenData, ... read on I suppose...

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Inspired by Vic Derman's ""Natural City"", I add my own millennial flare!
To start, all community corporate information available via #OpenData format: budgets, utility usage, asset mgmt (incl. natural capital), plus corporate citizens using public space must provide data, esp. ICBC, Uber/Lyft, Hydro, Fortis, etc.
Next, digital framework allows for economics-based decision-making, incl. densification, crowdsourced app-based bylaw enforcement, & community association financial support/engagement.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Since the end of prohibition in B.C., municipalities have had bylaw-making powers congruent with the Liquor Control & Licensing Act to allow residents to crack open a beer or wine in a public place, e.g. the picnic area of a park. No local government ever took the option, and this ability was nearly removed with new legislation, but saved by Vancouver Park Board staff.
Slainte! Now I believe #SmartSaanich should take up the call: May-September, Noon-Sunset, Picnic Areas of most parks.

Susan Brice

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I was previously Chair Greater Victoria School Board,Mayor and Councillor in Oak Bay and MLA Saanich South

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I'm motivated because the issues that are important to Saanich are important to me and I feel I have a background that contributes to council dealing with these issues. I respect the nature of group decision making in the interest of the community at large and I feel passionate about bringing the economic, environmental and social issues together in balanced decisions.

What are your top three issues?

Fiscal accountability to tax payer

Environmental sustainability

Housing affordability

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years time Saanich will be a complete community with the urban core centred at Uptown and Douglas Corridor. The regional transit hub will be located there connecting Saanich to the rest of the region. The various Saanich residential neighbourhoods will be strengthened and as densification occurs there will be even greater need to protect green space including parks and trails. Accessibility issues will be addressed as the population will continue to age and there will be a desire to continue living within ones community.There will be gathering spaces in each community for residents of all ages to meet and socialize.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I'd like to see a major hotel built in Saanich and with that maximize many untapped tourist related potentials. Saanich has the natural environment, parks, trail, nature centre which will be increasingly sought by visitors looking for authentic natural experiences.

Judy Brownoff

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

 

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I care about Saanich and the Region, I want to ensure they continue to move forward with an eye to the future, enhance and protect our natural environment and create a quality of life for all residents.

What are your top three issues?

Continue to diversify housing stock with the goal of more attainable housing

Continue to work towards a transportation commission, with multi users not just politicians

Conserve our natural environment and reduced operational costs through sustainable innovation

Develop an economic development strategy focussing on tourism incl sports tourism and retaining our local businesses in our Centres, Villages and Corridors

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

 

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Develop a youth mentoring program. I've been approached by some students who are looking at mentoring with politicians at the local level. They have desire to run for local office one day.

Kathleen Burton

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have served on the boards of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Victoria and Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society. I believe where partnerships are encouraged business will flourish.

I believe that if I am to ask the community to volunteer, I first should set an example and do myself. To that end, I am a volunteer with the Saanich Police Department and I am a Community Producer/Reporter for Shaw TV.

I recently completed my third Ride to Conquer Cancer cycling 100 klm per day. In 2015 I put my chin on the line boxing in Fight for the Cause, a charity boxing match where I won by unanimous decision. Now I want to fight for Saanich residents.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I’m passionate about contributing to the community that I live, work and play in, and firmly believe that nurturing relationships strengthens our community. My varied private and public sector career has helped me develop a clear understanding of Saanich’s complex business community. I offer a community perspective and will work closely with you to find solutions to the issues we face in Saanich.I pledge to listen to your interests and concerns when making decisions about your community.

What are your top three issues?

Common-Sense Environmental Policies - I’ll offer leadership on environmental protection, working with homeowners and the community to develop responsible policies to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Homelessness Solutions - Forward thinking solutions must be developed to this important and complex issue.

Affordability and Transportation - More affordable housing and transportation is needed providing security, mobility and opportunity for people with all incomes and abilities.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years, I would love for people to say that Saanich is the best place for families, students and retirees to live on the South Island. I would like to see more initiatives come to fruition, making Saanich healthier, more affordable for homeowners, renters and businesses. I would like to be able to proudly say my time on council, working cooperatively contributed to meaningful change in Saanich.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

In partnership with First Nations, my BIG idea offers a vision for the future offering a Saanich Wellness Centre -- similar to that of the Songhees Wellness Centre -- one that offers wellness programs that include primary health clinics, pre and post natal care, vaccination clinics, injury prevention training, chronic disease prevention and management, oral health, and facilitated fitness and recreational programming. In my vision, this is centrally located in the heart of Saanich.

Nathalie Chambers

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Founding member of the Blenkinsop Community Assn. Served as vice chair and director 2006-2017. Ran in the 2017 by-election when Vic Derman passed away. I was 400 votes away from being elected. I am a long time Saanich resident, an organic farmer at Madrona Farm, an author, a mother and a life-long social and environmental activist with a track record here that the people of Saanich can count on.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I will be a strong, reliable and independent voice for sustainability, affordability, safe, liveable roads, neighbourhoods,the protection of the remaining greenspace/farmland, cost effective public service and good government.

What are your top three issues?

Housing Affordability,Safe liveable neighbourhoods and sustainable land use.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

An approach to public policy and public action that strives for balance with the carrying capacity and available resources of our one and only planet Earth.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Create a 'Voluntary Incentive Program' i.e. 'Saanich Legacy Stewards Program' to incentivize homeowners through tax incentives and public recognition to voluntarily leave their properties in a natural state.

Zac de Vries

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am a young and emerging leader in our community. My passions at university outside of my studies and sports was getting young people involved in politics. I worked hard individually and with organizations to increase voter turnout, inform young people about the politics that matters to them, and connect youth with people and organization where they can use their passion to make a difference and contribute to a better world.

I have served on several executives over the last 5 years and have a track record of cooperation driven results.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love Saanich, I grew up here, went to school here, and I am excited about the future of Saanich and want to be a part of it. My generation cannot afford to wait another election. My soul relishes the notion that Saanich can once again become an affordable place for young people to thrive, families to settle down and seniors to retire. I'll work for you, foster cooperation on council and ensure that we build a better Saanich; a Saanich that works for everyone!

What are your top three issues?

Housing Affordability, Transportation, and Sustainability (environmental, social, and economic)

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years I envision a better Saanich for everyone. Our municipality should be more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Saanich should have defined vibrant villages, complete communities, robust transportation options, and more productive farmland and parkland than we have today.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Rapid Transit and Multimodalism. I'd work to make Saanich become a transit leader in Canada. Let's make Saanich more walkable, bikable, busable and drivable by balancing between road users.

Karen Harper

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Prior to becoming a councillor last fall,I was the Treasurer of the Camosun Community Association, Director of Amalgamation Yes, and Director of Grumpy Taxpayers. While working, I was also been on various government advisory committees, both provincially and federally.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

My previous experience, particularly at the BC Pension Corporation, was to find ways to successfully create significant organizational efficiencies.This inspired me to offer my services as a Saanich Councillor. We needed to create a responsive, cost effective, and modern organization to serve the Pension Boards and their members. That successful experience will be helpful in providing strategic direction in Saanich in its necessary quest to do the same.

What are your top three issues?

Affordability. We need to make Saanich more affordable for homeowners, renters, and businesses. I will work to bring taxes in line with the rate of inflation by improving organizational efficiency.

Housing. We need to ensure that affordable housing is required as part of the increasing density in urban Saanich.

Environment. Saanich needs to develop a biodiversity strategy that is scientifically defensible, evidence based, fair and reasonable.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I envision a community where regional issues are dealt with effectively so at our neighbourhood level, we can live together, all ages and incomes, in harmony.

Having well-established and vibrant communities, such as the just-approved Nigel Valley proposal, will help us achieve livable, dynamic centres around which the community can gather. This will allow us to maintain maximum green space/parks while increasing urban density.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Over the next four years I want to engage residents in the strategic planning process, taking it out of the in-camera process and into town halls and other venues.

What we want Saanich to look like should be an opportunity for as many residents to provide input as possible rather than Council deciding behind closed doors. This will better allow us to reflect community desires.

Ian Jessop

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

In my broadcasting career, I have interviewed numerous politicians about issues within their community including a bi-weekly interview with Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

To bring more transparency, accountability and openness to the decision-making process in Saanich. Being the largest municipality on Vancouver Island, Saanich is being held back by the lack of collaboration at the council table. To quote the Saanich Governance Review of 2017, A number of councillors have been on council for many terms. Some are, in effect, career politicians.

What are your top three issues?

Transparency and Openness - Saanich council has far too many in-camera (secret) meetings. There should be only one in-camera meeting per month to deal with municipal issues.

Environmental Protection - Replacing the EDPA with an environmental protection policy that is evidence-based and fair to homeowners.

Economic Growth - Saanich needs an economic growth strategy while at the same time protecting the municipality's natural environment.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I would envision a community where there are numerous, affordable housing options, an efficient regional transportation system, a community that respects and protects its natural environment. In other words, a community that is the envy of all other municipalities in British Columbia.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I would envision a community where there are numerous, affordable housing options, an efficient regional transportation system, a community that respects and protects its natural environment. In other words, a community that is the envy of all other municipalities in British Columbia.

Vernon Lord

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Coach various youth sports teams.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I believe I can bring my experiences of travelling across Canada and the States to stay employed as an IBEW electrician. I have witnessed various cities struggle with many of the same issues now facing Saanich. If there is one common denominator it's that unchecked growth is both dangerous and unhealthy. Saanich is my home now and I want to do all I can to hand it down to my 13 yr old daughter the Saanich I fell in love with.

What are your top three issues?

Tent Cities

This to me is the largest issue facing Saanich. This must be addressed with a workable, sustainable, long term solution fair for both taxpayers and persons in need.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I have lived in many different cities all over Canada and Saanich is by far the best place to live in. My vision is to take this even further and make Saanich more affordable, with efficient transportation, and parks that are safe and fun. I want Saanich to be the envy of all other municipalities, and would be honoured to help achieve this vision for everyone.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I have lived in many different cities all over Canada and Saanich is by far the best place to live in. My vision is to take this even further and make Saanich more affordable, with efficient transportation, and parks that are safe and fun. I want Saanich to be the envy of all other municipalities, and would be honoured to help achieve this vision for everyone.

Rebecca Mersereau

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Currently, I am the Chair of the CRD Water Advisory Committee, Secretary & Director of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, and appointed member of Saanich's Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Committee. I have extensive board, governance, and policy-making experience from both service on over a dozen community boards and advisory committees over the last decade.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I want to provide a voice for young families, professionals, renters, those on fixed incomes, and future generations to ensure they have a future in Saanich. With our high costs of living and low availability of housing, the future for these groups of individuals and our local economy is very uncertain.

What are your top three issues?

Creating & executing a plan to address our region-wide transportation challenges

Creating more housing (including rental) that is appropriate for young families, the workforce & students, and seniors ready to down-size

Creating more livable & accessible streets that people feel comfortable getting around on by foot, wheelchair/scooter, and with strollers & dogs in tow

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years, my vision includes having more 'complete' neighbourhoods in Saanich, with grocery stores, coffee shops & places to work and interact with others. We have a greater variety of housing and employment options that support residents of all ages and abilities. Through a smart approach to development, we've managed to retain active agricultural lands in rural Saanich and the green spaces and natural areas that are the pride of our municipality. In other words, we are a diverse, resilient, and green community!

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I want Saanich to be the most welcoming, friendly, and inclusive municipality in BC. We can do this by a) adopting more of a customer-service focus when people come to do business or sign up for services; b) holding regular community forums so expertise in our community can be leveraged to help us achieve goals like more housing, environmental stewardship, and economic development; and c) pro-actively recruiting under-represented groups (e.g. genders, ages, ethnicities) to participate in advisory committees, community associations, and consultations.

Cory Montgomery

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have never run for council or any other elected position.

In the community, I have volunteered for my children's softball and soccer teams as an assistant coach.

I have also worked on campaigns to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as the Heart and Stroke Foundation. These causes are close to my heart because my mom recently developed advanced Dementia (in her 60’s), and my father passed from a heart attack at 54.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love Saanich and am passionate about contributing to the community that I live in. I have owned businesses in Saanich and have lived here for 11 years.

I firmly believe that my experience in the public and private sector will help drive Saanich forward. I am level headed and can work with anyone to achieve a common goal, I want to help shape Saanich into a community that I can eventually retire in and that my children can afford to live in and raise a family in.

What are your top three issues?

1. Homelessness: Coming up with solutions that truly help the homeless community as well as the residents.

2. Business: I want to cut the red tape at Saanich to make it easier for local businesses to open and survive. Local businesses play a significant role in our economy and provide value to our community.

3. Agriculture: I grew up on family farms in Saskatchewan and Alberta. While Saanich needs to grow and densify, we must protect the Urban Containment Boundary and preserve Saanich’s farmland

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I have lived in many different cities all over Canada and Saanich is by far the best place to live in. My vision is to take this even further and make Saanich more affordable, with efficient transportation, and parks that are safe and fun. I want Saanich to be the envy of all other municipalities, and would be honoured to help achieve this vision for everyone.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

It seems as though we are in the dark on developments in our area until something is approved and building has commenced. This is not the way to run a community or municipality. We need to be open, transparent and honest.

I want to get the community more involved in planning for now and the future by taking strategic planning into the public and opening consultation on local area plans. I would propose that we hold town hall events to get meaningful community input on these critical items.

Shawn Newby

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am currently the Chair of the Saanich Community Association Network (SCAN), which is a network which meets monthly to collaborate on Community Association concerns and lessons learned within the District of Saanich. I have also served as Vice President of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, along with being the co-founder and manager of the Saanich Sunday Farmers' Market. The market has successfully provided Saanich with a family friendly community event in July and August at Braefoot Park for the past two years.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am running for Saanich Council to bring a genuine, balanced voice to address the concerns of those residents who may not have a voice - the young families who cannot afford to purchase their own homes in Saanich; pensioners on fixed incomes who cannot keep up with the increased cost of living; businesses who seek cost and time efficiencies to create sustainable growth; and residents who seek to protect our natural environment while providing the amenities needed to build a healthy community.

What are your top three issues?

Affordability, municipal efficiency and a healthy environment. I would like to see a Council that collaborates to support home owners, home builders and environmental protection. We need to support affordability and accessibility, but also resources for young families, students and those wishing to retire to feel comfortable calling Saanich home.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

25 years is too far away. We need to start now by building a municipality that has a balanced approach to increasing density while protecting the natural environment and enhancing our social environment. I envision a municipality that leads by example through innovative and multi-modal transportation and street design, while using tax dollars appropriately so that we can maximize resident benefits as development occurs.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

If I were to choose I would create a healthy and productive Council that can work together and find common ground on serious issues. A Council that shares a vision will lead a visionary staff and community.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have been a community organizer for over 15 years and currently a board member for the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, helping people to set up their own little free libraries. I'm the lead organizer of the BC High School Mock Trial Competition and a regular guest on CILS 107.9 FM, Victoria’s Francophone community radio station. I have a PhD in politics and international studies and have conducted research for a wide range of organizations here on Vancouver Island and around the world.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Through my work in placemaking, I have worked with the City of Victoria’s Street Team, and was happy to learn they employ a staff person who focuses on community building. However, a similar counterpart does not exist in Saanich, something I want to correct. My second motivation is the safety of our streets. My partner and I went car free 2 years ago, and when you regularly cycle around you become very aware of the need slower speed limits and smart design in order to increase safety.

What are your top three issues?

Improving road safety

Increasing availability of affordable housing

Community building

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Our core neighbourhoods are walkable, intergenerational, full of mixed-used affordable housing and vibrant public places. The District is rich in beautiful natural areas that inspire health and wellbeing. Saanich streets are safe and filled with people taking advantage of a diversity of modes of transportation.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Encouraging intergenerational communities is essential for combating social isolation and loneliness. This can take many forms, including intergenerational housing and daycare programs hosted within retirement communities. A dedicated staff role can help spread intergenerational connectivity across the district.

Colin Plant

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

The past 4 years I have Chaired the following bodies:

-Healthy Saanich Committee

-CRD Arts Commission

-CRD Traffic Safety Committee

I have also served on the following committees:

--Saanich Personnel Committee

-CRD Governance, Finance, Regional Parks and Planning and Protective Services

Prior to becoming a Councillor l I was the President of the Royal Oak Community Association and a member of the Saanich Community Association Network.

I have also served as President of the BC Drama Educators for 6 years and sat on various non-profit boards. I am a Chief Scout of Canada recipient.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I believe in service to my community. Saanich is a wonderful place to live and I believe this is because people who came before us helped make it so.Now it is our time to ensure Saanich continues to be a wonderful community.

I believe Saanich needs experienced, reasonable and thoughtful Councillors and that I can help shape a positive future for our community by making thoughtful and informed decisions.

I am motivated to leave the world in a better place for the future.

What are your top three issues?

Housing:We must densify in the right places and allow more housing to be built in Saanich in the right places so people can afford to live here.

Taxes:We must grow our commercial tax base (attract more business to Saanich) in order to lessen the burden of our residential tax base.

Rural/Urban issues:Saanich has the amazing distinction in our region of having defined Rural/Urban areas.We must support our Urban Containment Boundary and support the Agricultural Land Reserve.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Saanich has a healthy population that participates fully in their community and our youth and older adults can afford to live here.

We are an inclusive, multicultural community where our crime rate is continually declining and we have a high quality of life based on a diverse economy, sustainable principles and respect for the environment.

Each year more and more of our food is grown here in the region.

People say Saanich is the best place in the world to live.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

The region needs to have one police force.

Art Pollard

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have served on various Saanich Committees, including 10 years on the Cedar Hill Golf Committee, and terms on the Saanich Centennial and Civic Event CommitteesI also served for 16 years as an Area Coordinator for Quadra Cedar Hill Blockwatch and had the largest Block Watch in Saanich which comprised 64 Blocks and over 1300 residents. I have also served 6 years on the Executive of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association. I am a former Vice President of the University of Victoria Alumni Association. I have served as President of First Canadian Toastmaster's and hold the Able Toastmaster and Competent Leader designations. I also served as Volunteer Assistant Public relations manager for the Harbourfest and Airport Venues at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. I have also served in public relations volunteer positions for the Victoria Volunteer Bureau, and Victoria Special Olympics.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Recently retired after 32 years working for BC Ferries, I believe in giving back to where one works, lives and play.

I feel we can do better and must do better.

What are your top three issues?

1. Affordable housing means density centred around major transportation density corridors such as Shelbourne, and Quadra Street. But it also means innovative mixed models of housing including density such as increased uses of duplexes, triplexes and townhouse, while maintaining the character of neighbourhoods. I see increased use of legalized secondary suites and the consideration of laneway housing as options that can be considered and possibly considered outside the Urban Containment boundary for students and workforce housing.

2. Transportation needs the implementation of a Regional Transportation Authority similar to Translink in Vancouver. Transit frequency and

regularity must be improved, particularly to decrease automobile useage, and contribute to a greener environment.Students deserve service as do working individuals and retirees.

3. Community Safety.

I would dedicate more resources into an expanded BlockWatch programme and dovetail it with greater use of the Emergency preparedness registration. Both of these measures would be cost effective and build a sense of community and safety in Saanich. Safety also involve improving our road infrastructure and making it more walkable and easy to get around by implementing a sound and safe crosswalk strategy.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My vision of Saanich is a vibrant one. I see the cornerstone of a Central Business District. being the Douglas Corridor linking with Uptown, Gateway Village and the Nigel Valley plan. I see increased rental housing where needed in the city and an increase in supportive housing. Particularly needed is housing for students at the University and at Camosun College. I see a revamped and revitalized policy on biodiversity and a sound replacement of the EDPA which balances development zones with sufficient green space to keep Saanich a livable district . I see greater accountability and transparency in the governance structures in the District of Saanich.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

My big idea is to design measures to attract more green industries such as a lower Island movie studio, possible location by Mayfair Mall on Tolmie Ave.
We need good paying jobs in addition to our government or medical centred job base. Each year we produce thousands of University and college graduates, yet they have to leave Saanich to gain meaningful employment. We need to diversify the economy to meet the needs of these graduates.

Rishi Sharma

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am currently a Director on the Gordon Head Residents Association and member of the local advocacy group Fix Ash Road Now. I ran as a candidate in provincial election (Saanich-South) and I have partnered with Habitat for Humanity on a residential housing project. I have also volunteered with my local Hindu Temple and the InterCultural Association. Some of my fondest memories were volunteering at the summer Folk Festivals in downtown Victoria.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

As a 40 year resident of Saanich I feel I have an obligation to use the skills I have acquired through my close to 20 year public service career to help build a more livable community. With a collaborative, consensus-building council I am ready to advocate for better, more affordable services for our residents through increased economic development.

What are your top three issues?

My top three issues are increasing responsible economic development to help Saanich afford the continued increases in costs and debt repayment, instead of constant tax increases, more investments into arts and recreation creating a more livable city for all residents (youth and seniors), creating safer roads in all Saanich residential areas.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

A better Saanich that is more affordable and environmentally friendly, with residents of all ages enjoying new and improved housing, arts and recreation services and infrastructure that is safe and refreshed.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

It’s time to focus on economic development in Saanich to generate more revenue for services and supports for local residents without having to continue to raise taxes and fees. Now is the time implement a culture of economic success and responsible growth so residents in Saanich can enjoy affordable living, improved amenities and programs while keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.

Ned Taylor

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I ran in last year's by-election because I care about the community I've grown up in. I have frequently attended and spoken at council meetings. I'm also proud to serve as the Secretary for the Mt. Tolmie Community Association. In the past I've served on multiple Saanich Advisory Committees and Saanich Park Projects. This community work has given me an understanding of the issues, and the experience necessary to be a productive, forward-thinking voice on council.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love Saanich, the community I've grown up in. I want to protect our beautiful neighbourhoods and natural environment for both my lifetime and future generations. If elected, I'll also focus on bringing council together to create real affordable housing, improve transportation options, and respect your tax dollars. I'll take a visionary approach that works now and for the long-term future. On October 20th I'm asking for your vote so I can start addressing the issues facing our community.

What are your top three issues?

As a young person, I know that I might be raising my kids here one day. I want to ensure that housing prices and tax rates are under control, so that I can afford to start a family here. I also want to improve public transit and other transportation options so that residents can get around the Greater Victoria region efficiently and conveniently. Additionally, we must protect our parks and natural environment for current and future generations.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In the coming years, we must ensure that our beautiful neighbourhoods and natural areas are going to be protected. We also need to address affordability in housing and in taxes so that people can continue to live in the community they love. We're so lucky to call this incredible part of the world home and we need collaboration and leadership to address these big challenges.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I believe we need to increase density, transit, and economic vibrancy in key areas such as Uptown. We have the potential to turn this part of our community into a hub for Saanich - a place where people go to shop from local businesses, look for an affordable place to live, and be connected to other areas of the region through quality public transit. Seizing this opportunity can also help us garner new sources of revenue to help keep tax rates under control.

Policy and positions

We asked candidates to share positions on some of key issues facing communities and how they hope to address them. Here are their answers, organized by topic.

Click on a link to jump to that section:

Amalgamation

Benjamin Allan

I am and will always be very open to newer forms of governance, and I am in favour of some form of amalgamation within the capital region. Before I vote on any form of amalgamation I would get as much information as I can, both the pros and cons, and most importantly finding out how the community at large felt about the issue. I would want to know that amalgamating would be beneficial to the residents of Saanich.

Trevor Barry

YES to the Question. Anecdote: when I moved here 2007, my cousin took me up Mt.Doug to look around town (region) and I was blown away by how Victoria (looked like smaller Surrey) was over a dozen local jurisdictions.

The Citizens Assembly process is a really good one. It's too bad we didn't just start there.

And it may decide Saan-Vic amalgamation isn't the optimal choice.

I personally put a lot of stock into a Citizens Assembly, and whatever evidence-based recommendation, I'm good to go.

Susan Brice

I voted to put the ballot question to voters on a citizens assembly to study possible amalgamation of Victoria and Saanich. I will respect the outcome of that ballot question.

Judy Brownoff

The legislation allows for Amalgamation when the voters in each jurisdiction votes

Kathleen Burton

I am in favour of the formation of a Joint Citizen’s Assembly with the purpose of studying the pros and cons of amalgamating Victoria and Saanich. Citizen’s Assemblies offer a valued process in studying and developing specific recommendations to the issue being explored. It will bring together people and communities through a citizen led process. I believe listening to the residents and weighing their feedback is paramount in the political arena in order to make an informative decision.

Nathalie Chambers

Saanich and Victoria have now developed a ballot question asking residents if they would spend up to $250k on a citizen-led amalgamation study and I will respect the will of the voters. Saanich staff have created an excellent report on the beginning steps of reconciliation which includes improving relationships with neighbouring First Nations and we all have a responsibility to respect UN Declaration of Indigenous People. This is key to any new governance direction.

Zac de Vries

Amalgamation should be decided by voters, I support the process and will respect the informed decision of voters. My commitment to you is delivering the best possible public services, and making life more affordable for regular residents; that will not change even if our borders do.

Karen Harper

I am personally in favour of amalgamation. However, the question before us is whether or not we should have a Citizen's Assembly study the issue. I strongly support this. It is time for the public, not the politicians, to study this issue and make any recommendations. I will accept those recommendations unconditionally.

Ian Jessop

This question has been discussed in Greater Victoria for decades without resolution. It's finally time for politicians to step aside and let the people decide whether they want a Citizen's Assembly to study the issue. The politicians should abide by the peoples' choice.

Vernon Lord

I do not support amalgamation. I feel that Saanich will its voice in determining its own development path. Any purported saving can be achieved outside of amalgamation. And lastly I do not wish to be aligned with any council who would remove a statue of Sir John A Macdonald behind closed doors.

Rebecca Mersereau

Paramount for me is putting the interests of Saanich residents first. This means regardless of how our residents vote on October 20th, I want to ensure a) Rural Saanich isn't lost in a predominantly urban dialogue, and b) that Saanich residents aren't impacted financially by unfairly taking on the debts of other municipalities.

I recognize that amalgamation could also bring advantages, like greater influence provincially and federally, as well as more coordinated and consistent services. I remain open-minded and will respect and support the will of Saanich residents.

Cory Montgomery

I am in favour of the formation of a Joint Citizen’s Assembly with the purpose of studying the pros and cons of amalgamating Victoria and Saanich. Citizen’s Assemblies offer a valued process in studying and developing specific recommendations to the issue being explored. We can’t make an informed decision without input from residents, and we need to ensure that it makes sense for everyone as there are many diverse areas in Saanich and Victoria.

Shawn Newby

I support the ballot question to explore the benefits and disadvantages of an amalgamated format.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Amalgamation is an important governance question, and Saanich residents should have the opportunity to make their voices heard. Taking the time to obtain more information, through the use of a Citizen’s Assembly, will help the public and Saanich council make the best possible decision for our community.

Colin Plant

I support the principle of Amalgamation in the CRD if two or more communities vote for it.

I support the referendum question being asked of Saanich and Victoria residents this October to see if there is support for a Citizens' Assembly to study the benefits, costs and disadvantages of amalgamation.

Regardless of this referendum outcome, we must continue to seek opportunities to have coordinated regional services (ie. police, fire, transportation).

Art Pollard

I believe that input into the question must be widely canvassed before making a decision of this magnitude. The public needs to make their feelings known before any rash decisions are made on this issue. Personally, I do not see the overwhelmingly appetite for consolidation of the municipalities. The Bish study was pretty clear as to the pitfalls. I believe it would lead to negligible cost savings and will lessen the contact people have with their public representatives.

Rishi Sharma

i support looking at Amalgamation to help curb increased costs and create efficiencies. I think both Victoria and Saanich have work to do to fix their own issues i.e.: economic development, affordable housing, improved arts and recreation facilities before putting efforts into amalgamation

Ned Taylor

I support amalgamation in the Greater Victoria region, especially when we have Municipalities such as the Highlands, which have a population of roughly 2,000 people. We need an unbiased, provincially funded study that looks at all 13 Municipalities and decides, if we should amalgamate and if so, how we should amalgamate.

Transportation

Benjamin Allan

Saanich is a beautiful municipality full of green spaces, forests, parks and waterways. We need to protect and preserve our community by using a balanced approach to development. We need to ensure collaboration on transportation and land-use decisions so that we increase density along our major corridors (Mackenzie, Quadra, Shelbourne, Tillicum,) and at our main transportation hubs (Royal Oak, Uptown, Uvic).

Trevor Barry

Best transportation plan is a good land-use plan. Saanich spends approx. half (non-emerg services) budget on roads/utility infrastructure. It's the most Soviet-style tragedy of the commons, and yet we don't talk about it. It costs more to build things to far-flung places! It would be #SmartSaanich policy to incent roads and pipes close to existing capital assets.

MOBILITY (people/goods) technology is disrupting convention. We need a REGIONAL AUTHORITY (esp. Transit, eg. Douglas before E&N).

Susan Brice

Transportation and public transit are critical to the economy and livability of our region.

As Chair of the Victoria regional Transit commission I, working with all members of the commission are implementing the Transit Future Plan, building bus priority lanes, increasing service throughout the region and dedicating gas tax dollars to provide more and better services.

Judy Brownoff

Will continue to lobby the Provincial government for a Transportation Commission. In Saanich, work to complete Shelbourne short term plan and work on Active Transportation short term projects.

Kathleen Burton

We should continue the existing work being done to improve, strengthen, and expand transit services. I believe a Regional Transportation Authority that holds the power to oversee and effect regional change is integral. Without one in-congruent methods will impede progress not only in Saanich but throughout the region. I support a system that recognizes all forms of transit, including cars. As a cyclist I understand the importance of bike lanes that will not aggravate traffic problems.

Nathalie Chambers

Develop a Regional Transportation Authority for the CRD with the province. Shift public investment from general purpose roadway expansion towards public transit, ( e.g. more bus lanes, and routes), cycling paths, and walkways for all users.

Zac de Vries

Transportation is the second biggest issue facing Saanich. In Saanich we typically build and then think about transportation later; this is backward thinking and the cause of many of our traffic woes. We need a master plan for transportation, and then we need to build around it as our population grows to ensure gridlock gets better, not increasingly worse.

Karen Harper

Transportation is a regional issue and we need a Regional Transit Authority that has the power to direct necessary changes. Without that power, we will find ourselves in the same position as we do on many issues at the CRD, where lack of agreement often limits effective change. This authority should oversee all forms of transit, including buses, cars and cyclists. As a longtime cyclist, the solutions need to allow for safe cycling without increasing other forms of traffic problems.

Ian Jessop

Saanich cannot resolve transportation issues in isolation. It must be done at the regional level with a Regional Transportation Authority looking at the entire region in terms of vehicles, buses and cyclists. With many people travelling through a number of municipalities at any given time, it only makes sense to tackle this problem at the regional level if we care going to have real change.

Vernon Lord

Moving forward mass transit must be pushed to the front of every councils agendas in the capitial district. All methods/ideas must be looked at with one common truth, continuing to rely on cars as the primary means of transportation is the capital district is not sustainable.

Rebecca Mersereau

We urgently need a plan for regional transportation. The current traffic situation is worsening quickly and is bad for our health, our economy, the environment, and quality of life in our region. We need to lobby the provincial government and local MLAs to demand provincial support to help us put in place the right governance model and funding streams for a long-term public transportation solution for the region. In the short-term, we need BC Transit to step up with better services so young people and those on fixed incomes can continue to live here and make their budgets balance by not owning their own vehicles.

Cory Montgomery

Transportation is extremely important to the development of Saanich, we need to ensure that our networks are well thought out and make sense. I believe there is room for bike lanes but we need to make sure that we think carefully about where they should go and always consult with stakeholders. We cannot make the same mistakes as Victoria, which hurt Businesses and caused confusion.

We also need to look at road safety (proper speed limits and sensible intersections).

Shawn Newby

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

To make our streets safe for everyone, Saanich should reduce speed limits on all residential streets to 30 km/hr, increase enforcement, and use smart design and traffic calming measures. I will champion the implementation of our 30-year Active Transportation Plan. We also need to accelerate Saanich’s plans for sidewalk installation, and install more pedestrian controlled crosswalks. Transit must be a priority, including bus stops that are safe and comfortable.

Colin Plant

This region needs, at a minimum, a CRD Transportation service. Preferably, a Transportation Authority like the Metro Vancouver area can be created in the CRD.

Art Pollard

Another key issue is our transportation in Capital Regional district. The need for a Regional Transport authority that works to achieve a cohesive approach to speed limits, sidewalks, and bike lanes and traffic flow is a necessity. Better transit services will allow us options for smoother flowing traffic for all modes of traffic.

Rishi Sharma

To have a robust public transportation system allowing for less congestion on Saanich roads. Our roads are a shared space between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and with a proposed increase in housing density we need to ensure constant attention from the engineering department, planning and policing to ensure safety of all. I would also recommend more charging stations for the electric vehicles.

Ned Taylor

As someone who does not own a vehicle, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get around Greater Victoria. We need to improve public transit by getting more bus routes, increasing frequency in bus schedules and creating more bus lanes. If elected, I'll also work to address traffic congestion and improve connectivity in sidewalks and bike lanes.

Affordability

Benjamin Allan

In order to increase our housing affordability, Saanich needs to update our local area plans. This will help to identify appropriate locations and opportunities for increased density development. As more and more housing units, particularly multiplexes, townhouses and live/work condos come onto the market, housing prices will adjust accordingly.

Trevor Barry

EcoDensity / SmartGrowth on urban corridors / build Missing Middle for millennials.

+Demand-Side Management. Imagine if you could pay less for life's essentials like: getting around, drinking water, a humble abode, going to rec centres, booking your child's birthday party at a park... The provincial legislation governing municipalities is in dire need of amendment!

For starters: Property Taxes... why a flat-tax on a human right? i.e. Housing... and heck: water.

READ MORE DSM @ TAXES

Susan Brice

Affordability of housing can only be addressed by dealing with the cost of land. Utilizing the land base more efficiently will require higher degree of densification. Densification will need to be concentrated around village cores and centres with options for travel including Transit, cycling and walking. Existing single family neighbourhoods need to be considered for sensitive in-fill including secondary suites, duplexes and cottage suites. These opportunities for densification need to respect Saanich urban containment boundary.

Judy Brownoff

I will continue to look at diversifying our Housing stock and programs to help get more Attainable housing, whether rental or ownership.

Kathleen Burton

More affordable housing and transportation is needed providing security, mobility and opportunity for people with all incomes and abilities.

Nathalie Chambers

We are in a speculation goldrush. It is has become very unaffordable to live here. Currently there are thousands of vacant homes in Saanich that are silently inflating the cost of housing for everyone. Tax reform is a solution to making it fairer for Saanich working families, seniors, youth and those with other barriers to continue living here. We must increase our affordable housing stock in areas inside the Urban Containment Boundary.

Zac de Vries

Affordability, specifically housing affordability, is the biggest issue facing Saanich. There is no single panacea for the housing crisis. We need to complete a housing needs assessment, then update our local area plans accordingly. We should use our local area plans to guide development towards the needs of our community. Projects that fit out local area plan and long term vision of Saanich should be moved along quicker so that we can boost our housing stock to the level we need it to be.

Karen Harper

We need to ensure that new housing developments include affordable housing options. This can be done through judicious use of allowing more increased density if a certain percentage of that additional density is earmarked for affordable housing. We also need to encourage a variety of different types of developments - closes, townhouses, condominiums, etc to provide a variety of housing types.

Ian Jessop

The $250 million Nigel Valley plan is an excellent start in providing market housing and affordable housing. But more needs to be done. Many young people today find themselves priced out of the housing market. There needs to be increased density in some areas to allow new developments which should include affordable housing.

Vernon Lord

This issue is so large and complex I would have to default to our Provincial government for guidance.

Rebecca Mersereau

We need more housing, especially rental units, to make life more affordable in Saanich. We need to be more efficient when we process applications and incentivize what we want more of (like below-market and rental units) by putting those applications at the front of the queue. Wages aren't keeping up with housing costs here, so many young people & young families are only making it work by avoiding buying a vehicle - the next biggest expense. That means putting new housing in the right places - where there are other transportation options - is a critical part of the affordability solution.

Cory Montgomery

We need more affordable housing, proper transportation, and accessible routes for seniors and people with disabilities. I also want to help make Saanich an affordable place for families to open and operate a small business.

Shawn Newby

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

To make our streets safe for everyone, Saanich should reduce speed limits on all residential streets to 30 km/hr, increase enforcement, and use smart design and traffic calming measures. I will champion the implementation of our 30-year Active Transportation Plan. We also need to accelerate Saanich’s plans for sidewalk installation, and install more pedestrian controlled crosswalks. Transit must be a priority, including bus stops that are safe and comfortable.

Colin Plant

We must remember our local governments are only one level of governance that can help address this. We must work with the province and federal governments to address affordability in our entire country.

At the local level we can help affordability for housing by allowing smart density and expedite affordable housing projects.

We must grow our economy while respecting our environment.

Art Pollard

Saanich has a dearth of rental housing. I would encourage measures to stimulate the increase of rentals, and below market housing in development. The mixed model concept can make inroads. Supply must be increased, as the demand for housing continues to increase.

Rishi Sharma

I would introduce a livable city plan. This would look all aspects of affordability from housing options for young families to seniors, available transportation to accessible arts and recreation services. A Saanich that is vibrant hub affordable to all.

Ned Taylor

We need to address affordability so that we can continue living in the community we love. I will work towards legalizing garden suites, increasing on-campus student housing, and increasing density in key areas like Uptown. It's crucial that new developments include affordable housing and some commercial space since businesses pay higher tax rates and provide amenities. This kind of approach will help us increase revenue and move away from constantly raising property taxes for everyday residents.

Homelessness

Benjamin Allan

My heart goes out to those who have fallen onto tough times and have found themselves without a safe space to call home. I understand that there isn’t a quick, one size fits all kind of solution. As such, I believe there needs to be a multi-faceted, collaborative approach, whereby we work with our neighbouring municipalities, the provincial and federal governments to provide the services and support these citizens require.

Trevor Barry

Homelessness is a national issue, with incentives for folks to migrate to Victoria. It's not a problem, per se, but rather the symptom of a confluence of problems, under senior government jurisdiction, where the Feds ($) and Prov (social services) have been in dire dereliction of their duties, for decades. Saanich cannot, should not, pay to build social housing. But should provide space, be that temporary camping at parks (legal requirement) or zoning, e.g. requiring %mix in new developments.

Susan Brice

Homelessness is a critical social issue but campers congregating for long period of time in municipal parks is not a solution. Given the situation I support Saanich enforcing the bylaw that limits the tents to be erected between 7:00 pm and 9:00 am.

Judy Brownoff

Continue working with CRD, Provincial and Federal governments on our Regional Housing First Program.

Kathleen Burton

The issue is not as simple as removing a tent city. It was difficult for me to choose between the earlier options of allow tent cities to remain until housing is built or clear them out regardless. My brother (who was homeless) died only weeks ago. If elected, I will bring a voice of reason to Council and staff where homelessness is concerned to develop forward thinking solutions to this important and complex issue. Homelessness will not be resolved by one solution nor by one body of government.

Nathalie Chambers

The right to housing is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. I will advocate for Housing for All. This means increasing and fast tracking the availability of local social housing, and implementing robust harm reduction programs with funding from all levels of government. A symptom of not proactively dealing with our affordability and housing crisis is the rising level of homelessness and costly tent cities.

Zac de Vries

Homelessness has reached unprecedented levels in our community and we have to do better as a society. Prevention is the best way to stop homelesness. Saanich needs to do more to address mental health and addictions. We need bold action now.

Karen Harper

The previous question in this Times Colonist survey on homeless solutions is, I find, overly simplistic.

Working on this problem is multi-faceted. We need to work with BC Housing to provide land (as Saanich has), and collaborate with all levels of government to ensure that a variety of housing and services are available. We also need to respect the neighbourhoods where the encampments occur. The new parks bylaw does allow for some camping, with clean up during the day.

Ian Jessop

Municipalities cannot deal with the homeless issue without the support of the provincial government. United for Saanich is committed to working with BC Housing to have modular housing replace the vacant Emily Carr Library thereby reducing homelessness in the municipality.

Vernon Lord

We need to get ahead of this issue. I feel this is the largest issue facing Saanich and has the potential of dwarfing all other issues in terms of cost and time investment. I will always speak for the taxpayers of Saanich in developing a sustainable, long term, fair model for moving forward on this most important issue. A model which is fair for both Saanich taxpayers and persons in need.

Rebecca Mersereau

Saanich should have responded sooner to the Province's offer of financial support to build housing that could already be shelter for the residents of our recently dis-banded Tent City. A more pro-active, compassionate response also happens to be less expensive.

More lasting solutions require provincial support. Through the Union of BC Municipalities and our own lobbying, we need to either demand that the Province step-up its social supports or provide additional revenue streams to municipalities who currently have little choice but to provide front-line responses at great expense.

Cory Montgomery

Homelessness cannot be solved simply by dismantling a tent city. We need solutions and actions to help deal with this issue.

Because homelessness is not just a municipal issue, we need to get the Provincial and Federal governments involved to help fund proper shelters and serves. If elected I will help lead the drive to move Saanich toward a solution.

Shawn Newby

We need to collaborate with all levels of government to address the core causal factors of homelessness and houselessness. I do not believe it benefits our communities or community members to have individuals temporarily housed in our public spaces.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

We need to be proactive on this issue. This past year the Province offered municipalities supportive modular housing as part of the Rapid Response to Homelessness program. Municipalities only had to provide land for this housing, but Saanich failed to identify any for the program until very recently, after all of the 2000 units had been allocated around the province. Council needs to be better prepared to take advantage of such partnerships and make affordable housing a priority.

Colin Plant

While I have a big heart for the homeless, we must also expect ALL citizens to respect laws and bylaws. I am proud to have been part of the CRD Housing First initiative that will see $90 million of housing created in the near future.

I also support modular housing coming to Saanich.

Art Pollard

Saanich is an expensive place to live and we are losing our younger generation as well as making it expensive for our seniors and disabled citizens. We need to look at laneway housing, modular housing, and expanding legalization of secondary suites. They should be licenced and inspected which will mean increasing the numbers of inspectors.

Rishi Sharma

Saanich needs to create a policy and vision to End Homelessness in the district by 2024. The plan should include partners from neighbouring municipalities, the provincial and federal governments. Homelessness is a real issue and getting more important considering constant increased living costs.

Ned Taylor

The provincial government offered to build modular housing if Saanich could provide the land. I'm disappointed that it took months of having a tent city at Regina Park before they decided to provide that land. As we move forward, I believe it's important that council has a sense of urgency on these kinds of pressing issues. The longer we wait to take action, the worse these situations get.

Taxes

Benjamin Allan

Rather than continuing an urban sprawl form of development, which requires significant capital spending, we need to instead utilize high density development strategies in our urban areas. This will increase our municipal tax base without significantly increasing the cost of service provision. I am keenly aware that there is only one tax payer, and that over the past decade the increase in municipal taxes has far surpassed that of the rate of inflation.

Trevor Barry

Mil Rates should be flexible, variable by ZONE (could mean by PERFORMANCE)

Regardless, should be a personal basic amount eg. the first $100k in assessed value, Tax-Free.

Same for 10,000 Litres of water, per person. Next, $500 in rec/park services, and $500 in mobility services incl. bus, uber, U-bike, & [ubiquitous] paid parking. Watch as the Invisible-Hand provides financial incentives to consumers to avoid the marginal costs above these thresholds, and the WHOLE SYSTEM GETS MORE EFFICIENT.

Susan Brice

Some services are downloaded on the local government. Current services must be reviewed to find any possible better way of delivering them that will reduce taxes.

Judy Brownoff

Look to reduce operational costs through innovation and retrofits, supplemented by Grants.

Kathleen Burton

I hold a reputation for involvement with the local business community. A former Board member, I have a dedicated commitment to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and Tourism Victoria. Saanich certainly is known to be more residential than corporate. That said, I believe there is a change ahead which may see more commercial real-estate developed and will see existing commercial areas revitalized. I see the value in narrowing the gap between business and residential property taxes.

Nathalie Chambers

There are thousands of vacant houses in Saanich which are silently inflating the cost of living for all. We must ensure fiscal responsibility and cost-effective public services.

Zac de Vries

I will respect your tax dollars by ensuring they go as far as possible and provide value for our community.

Karen Harper

I believe that we need to get our tax lifts at the cost of living or less before we can look at increasing services. It is a question of affordability for homeowners, renters and businesses.

Between 2006 and 2016, taxes increased in Saanich by 40% more than the cost of living. This is simply not sustainable. It particularly affects both seniors and youth in making Saanich unaffordable.

Ian Jessop

A recent report found that taxes in Saanich increased 40 percent more than the cost of living over the period from 2006 to 2016. It is a heavy burden for taxpayers and it cannot be sustained. Rather than just rubber stamping departmental budgets, a new council must go through each budget line-by-line and begin asking tough questions on behalf of taxpayers. This must be done in an open and transparent way.

Vernon Lord

My Father had to sell his cottage in Ontario due to out of control tax increases on property(s). His cottage was 800 square feet build in the 50's. Others have had to sell their own homes due to raising home taxes. That is the end result of constant tax increases. Fiscal responsibility and respect for taxpayers money needs to be reintroduced to council. We need to live within our means, we have in the past and need to get back to that.

Rebecca Mersereau

Creating more housing and attracting more commercial activity to urban areas of Saanich will help reduce tax pressure on existing residents. It will also help us attract and retain a workforce to support our local economy, which is currently suffering from an inability to attract workers due to limited housing and high costs of living. Improving the efficiency of the services Saanich provides and ensuring we understand the full costs of owning and operating new assets (like parks) and initiatives (like policies and regulations) will also help keep taxes and services fees from getting out of control.

Cory Montgomery

Taxes have skyrocketed in the last few years with little to show for it. We need to ensure that we are getting value for the amounts that we pay each year. We are seeing the growth of small apartments with commercial space underneath, which brings in a greater tax base while still preserving Saanich’s unique character. I believe these measures will entice business while allowing residents to shop in our own municipality without having to go downtown.

Shawn Newby

I would like to keep taxes as low as possible. We need to find more efficient ways to spend the revenue that we currently have.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Saanich should focus on increasing our tax base by increasing density in core village areas and developing small, locally-owned commercial spaces. I will champion a program to give taxpayers the opportunity to make voluntary contributions to municipal programs, while introducing a public benefits test for permissive tax exemptions.

Colin Plant

We must continue to see our tax dollars are used efficiently, effectively and look at ways to grow our tax base and not just rely on our residential tax base to cover all increases.

Art Pollard

Ideally, taxes should be kept within the cost of living annual increases. They should not be about legal fees paid out by the municipality. Fiscally responsible municipalities should live with their means.

Rishi Sharma

i would recommend creating a economic development plan working with local business, public post secondary institutions, indigenous communities, industry associations and neighboring chambers of commerce to help with increasing revenue for the municipality and halting the rise of taxes.

Ned Taylor

For years now, property taxes have been rising much faster than the rate of inflation. It's becoming harder and harder for residents to afford these constant increases. We need to work towards saving resources and creating new sources of revenue so that we can keep tax rates under control. If elected, this will be one of my top priorities.

Candidate's choice

Benjamin Allan

The senior population in Saanich is steadily growing; we need to work together to enable their continued active participation in the communities they helped create. For example, in order to accommodate the increasing number of mobility scooters, Saanich should require a different sidewalk standard, thus allowing pedestrians and scooters to harmoniously coexist without forcing them onto the roadways. We also need to be actively exploring affordable housing options for seniors.

Trevor Barry

> GOVERNANCE >

VicPD polices the region (trade-off). Other hand: Saanich is economic, social, env & transp centre of CRD whose taxpayers build infrastructure for everybody else. Without user-pay principles (equitable ones: SEE TAXES) we are getting pointy end of stick.

Ideas:

- Term Limits on councillors, andor pay them less each consecutive term.

- Dedicated seat for small business

- #OpenData platform at city hall (corporate)

- Directly elected regional representatives (e.g. CRD directors by STV ranked ballot)

- (+see TRANSPORT)

Susan Brice

Keeping Saanich safe is vital to our quality of life. The police are dealing with increasing complex issues that never existed before such as cyber scams and increasing court related demands. These services must be provided and every opportunity taken to share and integrate services between other police departments to use dollars most efficiently and effectively.

Judy Brownoff

Kathleen Burton

Affordability - I understand many middle-income households spend more on housing and transportation than is affordable. As a single parent on the island, I personally have experienced this myself. Many tell me Saanich is not considered affordable to them and they experience very low rental vacancy rates. I have experienced this as well. I would like to see more affordable housing and transportation, in walkable urban neighbourhoods, in order to provide security, mobility and opportunity for people with all incomes and abilities.

Nathalie Chambers

As a farmer and conservationist we have been dealing with non-permitted industrial uses in rural Saanich that have been degrading soils, polluting watersheds and overloading our rural roads with fast moving overweight trucks. I would like to see a review of the business licences and bring those into compliance.

Zac de Vries

Farmland:

Saanich has farming roots, and we need to protect them. I will defend ALR land in Saanich and the UCB. I will work with key partners to power our rural economy and make rural Saanich more profitable and affordable. agri-tourism, creating appropriate housing for seasonal workers, and supporting the British Columbia’s Buy BC program. I will also make Panama Flats productive again while retaining its recreational

and ecological capacity.

Karen Harper

Speed limits are clearly a very important issue for Saanich residents. I would like to see the default speed limit for residential streets reduced to 30 or 40 km per hour. While provincial legislation makes this challenging to do en masse, residents in some areas are calling for reduced speed limits on their roads. We could change some speed limits on a case specific basis, while waiting for the province to update the Motor Vehicle Act.

Ian Jessop

The strategic planning process needs to be opened up to allow public participation. It's time the public had a greater say in the future direction of the municipality. Growth is inevitable while at the same time protecting the unique natural environment of Saanich for future generations.

Vernon Lord

EDPA

I was against repealing the EDPA, I believe all changes needed going forward could have been achieved within the current framework. I fear it will be years until an alternative to the EPA is implemented, that is too long. Any new EDPA must include all district land held to the same standards as private lands.

Rebecca Mersereau

More Livable, Safe & Accessible Streets

Sadly, many Saanich residents are literally scared to walk in their own neighbourhoods due to the haphazard condition of so many of our streetscapes, deteriorating or non-existent sidewalk infrastructure, and car speeds that don't match the character of our streets. We need to reclaim our streets for people: for young families and dog owners, for seniors who want to stay in their own homes, for those who get around on two wheels, and for children and youth who deserve safe routes to school. Ensuring this basic quality-of-life expectation needs to be a higher priority in Saanich.

Cory Montgomery

Affordable housing and the high price of rent is one of the biggest issues that we are dealing with. People are having to work longer and harder than ever to afford to live in our great community.

I would like to stay in Saanich into retirement and have my children be able to afford to live here as well. We need to look at how we can reduce the burden on all households, which means that we need to encourage affordable housing and legal secondary rental suites

Shawn Newby

Saanich needs to do more for young families. I often hear that the Westshore is a family oasis. I believe we can work with these young families to once again make Saanich a family oasis like it was when I was growing up.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Truly great neighbourhoods are vibrant and walkable, with mixed-use buildings that include services and businesses, as well as housing. Affordable commercial space is also important to help social enterprises flourish. Saanich needs a staff person to help residents build community and connections in their neighbourhoods, similar to a role that exists in Victoria.

Colin Plant

Saanich needs to continue to support its rural/urban nature by protecting the Urban Containment Boundary and support the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Art Pollard

Rishi Sharma

Increasing costs of housing. The answer is more focus on a culture of sustainable, clean development for all Saanich residents.

Ned Taylor

I believe it's crucial that we protect our Parks and natural environment for both current and future generations. There are cities now that are spending millions of dollars to create green space because they got rid of it all in the past, that's not what we want to happen in Saanich and Greater Victoria 10, 20, 50 years down the line. We need to ensure that parks are properly maintained and our natural environment is protected with reasonable legislation. 

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