In November, 2014 Saanich Voice Online (SVO) asked all mayoral and councillor candidates that ran in the Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney municipal elections to tell us, in 60 words or less, what they would like to have accomplished in their elected post by Nov 15, 2015, June 1, 2017 and Oct 1, 2018.
We’ve referred back to the promises made by the ones that were elected on the appropriate dates. SVO is now asking the ten Saanich by-election candidates to tell us what they hope to accomplish in the short year that they will serve before the general election in 2018.
Here’s what they had to say:
In my first year in office I’d focus on affordability, sustainability and road safety. I’d direct staff to develop an aggressive strategy to address the current housing crisis and work to make Saanich a living-wage employer. I’d work to reform the EDPA and protect our remaining farmland, and I’d work with community
associations to improve road safety and local transit.
Keith Andrew Davidoff
I would like to have initiated discussions with Inspection Services on improving the efficiency of permit applications plus work on new ideas to ‘inspire smart development’ and allow affordability within our municipality.
In addition, I would like to review and ensure the bicycle lanes part of the Shelbourne Corridor Action Plan are a win/win with vehicles and pedestrians.
- • Attend 2017 UBCM meet with Premier and Minister of Housing. Meet with federal officials to obtain increased funding assistance for construction of co-op and low income housing in Saanich.
- Abolish the EDPA
- Spare Saanich taxpayers yet another tax hike
- Increase the inventory of housing inventory especially affordable housing by working with proponents
- Increase the accountability of both Saanich and CRD
I plan to work with Saanich Council to:
- craft a budgeting process aimed at keeping property tax increases in line with or less than cost of living increases.
- rescind the EDPA in its current form and plan to work collaboratively with residents and other stakeholders on a better plan that protects truly sensitive environmental areas within Saanich.
Working with others, I’ve helped accomplish Saanich Councillor Colin Plant’s 2017 goal for Saanich to have a public Farmers’ Market; I’m currently deeply involved in working with others to see a sensible yet innovative strategy implemented to encourage ‘gentle density’ in our municipality. This can provide a good fit of respectful housing options for those on lower incomes.
Rebecca Jane Mersereau
I hope to:
- Inject energy and a more collaborative dynamic to Council through constructive relationships with all Councillors that focus on common aspirations;
- build support for establishing performance targets for key services (e.g., building permits) that will make Saanich more efficient and attractive for investment;
- capably consider the perspectives of those often underrepresented (e.g., young families, renters, low-income individuals).
I hope to have the controversial EDPA amended to satisfy both critics and supporters. I would also like to have at least three Local Area Plans updated so we can start to identify what areas of Saanich are appropriate for development.
- The EDPA altered to gain a clearer direction for the sustainability of Saanich.
- Measures designed to improve the supply of housing in Saanich.
- Increased support of the crime prevention through an enhanced Block Watch programme.
- Creation of Business block watches in every mall in Saanich.
- The introduction of bylaws/legislation to impose increased property taxes on absentee landlords.
I hope to bring my ideas forward and create a positive impact in our community. For me, true accomplishment would be if any of my ideas were enacted upon, whether I’m a councillor or not. On a larger scale, with support from Minister Lana Popham I hope to move forward with my petition to ban caging chickens in BC’s egg industry.