Platform2018-10-15T21:16:23+00:00

Introduction

My policy platform will be released incrementally from September 26th to October 16th, 2018. Specific questions from residents will be answered on my Facebook page and broad issues will be discussed on this website.

The policy items below reflect the interests, concerns, and ideas that have been discussed at Council or shared with me by residents of North Saanich.

Keep sharing! If there are specific issues you would like me to address, let me know at geofforr4council@gmail.com

Supporting Affordability and Housing Policy

Housing initiatives must reflect the needs and desires of our residents while acknowledging the lack of affordable supply for certain demographics and household income levels as identified in the Saanich Peninsula Affordable Housing Needs Assessment report dated August 2016.

I will work with Council to:

  • Finalize the Affordable Housing Policy OCP amendments
  • Initiate Local Area Planning for Area 1 (McTavish)
  • Consider applications for purpose built non-market rental housing in Area 1 for moderate to low income households ( ≦ $60,000 per year ).
  • Advance discussions related to Secondary Detached Dwellings and proposed new R1s Zone (in order to acknowledge existing smaller legal non-conforming lots)
  • Consider mixed use commercial/residential in the McDonald Park Road area bordering the West Sidney industrial area.

Continuing to Build a Thriving Agricultural Sector

North Saanich is a beautiful place to live and a bountiful place to grow food crops and raise livestock & poultry.  For many years, the District of North Saanich and the community have worked hard in various ways to ensure we support and encourage agriculture.  There is much more to do.

I will work with Council to:

  • Advance current initiatives such as transitioning the Sandown agricultural lands and the Agriculture Economic Development Strategy recommendations
  • Establish a thriving agricultural sector through leveraged provincial investment and regional partnerships.
  • Actively engage all agricultural producers in North Saanich.

Enhancing Indigenous Relations

I have had the privilege of being the liaison to Tseycum First Nation and participating in numerous Indigenous events, gatherings, and seminars this term. I have worked with other Councillors this term to bring forward a few motions.  The resulting action includes: Tseycum and Pauquachin art at the renovated municipal hall, a District statement in regard to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, funding for Cultural Safety Group blanket exercise training, and the staff report referenced below.

I will work with Council to:

  • Enhance our relationships with Tseycum and Pauquachin Nations by encouraging and providing opportunities for meaningful conversations.
  • Advance select recommendations identified in the recent staff report, ‘First Nations Relations’ dated August 3, 2018, after consultation with and agreement by Tseycum and Pauquachin Nations.
  • Explore with Tseycum and Pauquachin Nations what Indigenous reconciliation and relationship building means to them and work with them to find useful and effective ways to bring reconciliation into the Strategic Plan.

Representing the Community on Amalgamation

I support the current Saanich and Victoria citizens’ assembly initiative. I believe that there is some merit in the concept of an amalgamated Peninsula (Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney); however, the effort and expense required to advance such an initiative isn’t justified at this time when compared to other pressing municipal and community priorities.

I will work with Council to:

  • Seek ways to build on our existing integrated service delivery relationships with Peninsula and regional municipalities.
  • Encourage cost-effective ways of delivering quality services in a manner that is equitable, lean, fair, and safe.
  • Continue to support evidence-based, fulsome, and balanced research on amalgamation, collaboration, and sharing services.

Developing a Long-Term Taxation Strategy for North Saanich

I will work with Council to:
Conduct a review of taxation policy with the goal of developing a long term taxation strategy leading to a five to ten year forecast that incorporates input from finance staff, residents, and the business community.

Advancing Library Proposal at Panorama

The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) currently operates the Sidney/ North Saanich Library on Resthaven Drive in Sidney and both North Saanich and Sidney contribute to its operation. VIRL is in the early planning stages for a branch in North Saanich that is to be located on the Panorama Recreation Centre site..

The District is currently awaiting a response from the Agricultural Land Commission with regard to a non-farm use application. Given the impending election, and resultant change in composition of the Peninsula Recreation Commission, further decisions about the future of the library at Panorama will take place in the next term.

I will work with Council to:
Encourage VIRL to engage the public in a meaningful way as the project advances.
Identify any outstanding issues and ensure communication with our municipal partners at the Peninsula Recreation Commission is comprehensive and transparent.