Friday, October 31, 2008

Coffee with Chris Munkacsi

Last night I hate a coffee with Chris Munkacsi who is running for Victoria City Council. He is a 35 year old government employee that has recently moved from Fernwood to Vic West.

We met at the Spiral Cafe. It is a wonderful retro 60s coffeehouse type place and I recommend checking it out. Many nights there are music jams going on there.

Chris and I talked about a number of different things to do with the election. While I did not agree with him on everything, I was very much impressed to his desire to build stronger community in Victoria. He is bright and intelligent, listens well and is not dogmatic.

Chris still has to learn more about the role of council and what is possible for the city to do and what is not, but I have the confidence that he can learn very quickly. Voting for him is a vote for a positive future council.

Chris admits he is a dark horse in the race, his name is not well known, he does not have the resources he needs to make himself better known and he is simply one more name on a VERY long ballot. He is realistic about his chances and recognizes he is not likely going to get elected. He has thought about what he will do if he is not elected, he will devote his energies to his local community association.

Chris said he has been amazed at how much the community associations do in the city and felt they are a good place to focus more energy. I would expect to see him run again in 2011

My problem with the election is that there are more than enough candidates I would like to vote for this time around. Victorians have an embarrassment of riches of good council candidates to choose from in this election. For me to vote for him I would have to drop someone else I was planning on voting for.

Put Chris on your list of people you are considering for your vote.

More on Facebook

This is from Tri-City News, Coquitlam and area. Interesting take on the issue. From what I have seen, the younger the candidates, the more facebook is a factor. My nieces both have around 300 facebook friends, but one of my boomer aged friends that is a great social networker in real life only has 125 friends.

Will facebook make it easier for candidates to get people out to vote? Will more younger people vote in the election because of it? I do not know.

Richard Stewart, who is mentioned in this article, has a facebook group and I am member. He would make a great mayor of Coquitlam so please support him.

Facebook plays role in civic elections

When Mike Bowen sat down with his election team before launching his Port Coquitlam mayoral campaign, the group discussed the best ways to promote the candidate and bolster his platform.

Newspaper ads, lawn signs and websites were all mentioned but when someone suggested Bowen set up a Facebook account, most of his advisors scoffed at the idea.

“Everybody to a person said, ‘Don’t bother with that, it is kids’ stuff,’” Coun. Bowen said. “But then I ran it by my daughter and she said, ‘Are you kidding?’”

Soon after that conversation, Bowen joined the social networking site, joining its approximately 132 million other users around the world. He is still familiarizing himself with the concept of online social networking and his 28-year-old daughter is helping him manage his profile.

Like most people who join Facebook, Bowen has been reunited with some old friends he has not seen in many years. But the site has also proven to be a handy campaign tool in his quest to become mayor of Port Coquitlam.

He said the site gets a range of different age groups but the one demographic he hopes it will drive to the polls is young people.

“There are a lot of younger people that may not read the local paper... but they are on their computers,” he said.

Facebook was founded in 2004 and has attracted millions of members. It allows people to join networks and communicate with one another online.

While barely a factor in the last civic campaign, Facebook has since become a necessity for politicians, with many candidates in the recent federal election taking advantage of the site.

Bowen is not the only local candidate who has seen the value of Facebook for the upcoming campaign.

Coquitlam councillor and mayoral candidate Richard Stewart became a member before he announced his run.

As School District 43 DPAC president, Stewart said he worked with parents on internet-related issues, and he and several other DPAC members joined Facebook in order to try and demystify the communication tools their children were using.

Stewart’s first online friend was his daughter. Since then, he has connected with many people across the region and has launched a Facebook group to promote his mayoral campaign.

He to believes social networking websites could be a key to tapping into younger demographics who don’t usually turn out to the polls.

“We need to meet them where they are,” Stewart said. “If they are at the coffee shop, then you go to the coffee shop. If they are on Facebook, then let’s meet them on Facebook.”

Another Port Coquitlam mayoral candidate, Coun. Greg Moore, is already experienced using social networking sites. He set up a Facebook group called MyPortCoquitlam before announcing his run for mayor and routinely updates his profile.

While Moore agrees with Stewart and Bowen that the site should attract younger voters, he points out that users of the site have grown to include a diverse cross-section of society. He said the largest demographic that visits his Greg Moore for Mayor site is men and women between 35 and 45.

Moore said he started using Facebook because it allows him to have a conversation with voters about issues that concern them.

“It is almost like going door-to-door or having a community meeting but you are doing it online,” he said. “It gives people a chance to react and discuss.”

Not everyone is sold on the idea of using social networking sites in their campaigns.

Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson said she has not joined Facebook, fearing it could allow people to spread false information about her online.

“It can lead to information that isn’t always correct or it could appear that people have friends that they didn’t realize they would be associated with,” she said. “We just haven’t moved in that direction.”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From Sooke Mirror News

Each of the civic candidates running was asked, ‘why are you running?’

Electors in the District of Sooke and in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area will be voting on a referendum for the Sooke Region Museum.

JdF Electoral Area voters can vote at the Otter Point Fire Hall, Shirley Community Hall and the East Sooke Community Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 15.

Election Day is

November 15.

Municipal voters can cast their ballots at Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Road, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

I see opportunity in challenges that face us. I see working with our communities towards a sense of a shared future, where they have influence and where they work together to promote social, environmental and economic stability. I believe in open respectful communication and in planning to ensure healthy resilient communities

Many issues such as governance, representation, land use, water, down-zoning and museum funding have not been effectively handled by the CRD. My family is now deeply rooted in Port Renfrew and I have the time and experience to help solve these problems and make a positive difference.

For me the election is about effective leadership, about creating a team that, with guidance and direction, will unite on a vision, work to accomplish the goals set. I will encourage and expect mutual respect among and between council and staff so we can work efficiently making decisions to move forward.

The exceptional blend of community spirit, natural setting, affordability and small town charm will shape Sooke’s growth in the coming years. With such growth comes great responsibility to maintain a balance between improving livability whilst preserving Sooke’s uniqueness. I wish to ensure Sooke’s leadership embraces such a balance.

Brenda Parkinson- Council

I am seeking reelection as I want to continue to work on behalf of our community to ensure responsible development of our community and revitalization of our town core. My vision for Sooke is to help create and promote a dynamic, vibrant and sustainable local economy and culture.

I have lived in this community for 32 years. Our town is beautiful, diverse and frustrating. The frustration is at a community level, therefore my values lead me to act at a community level. I know I could learn quickly and perform my functions as councillor in a professional, capable and respectful manner.

We need strong leadership during turbulent economic times - a Mayor who will work together with Council ensuring we do what we can afford, and what taxpayers want. No more wasted tax dollars and special perks for mayor. Ensure development doesn’t cost you money, and manufactured home owners are protected.

Our community is facing difficult times. Political decisions favouring developers and ignoring procedural fairness have been deeply divisive and financially costly. Candidates for council are already lining up in voting blocs preparing to continue the trend. My hope is to bring an independent, reasoned and informed voice to the table.

Growing up in Sooke I was fortunate to witness the building of this community. Hardworking, family people constructing lives for themselves and their children, brick by brick, all to fill in the landscape of what we have today. It is this process I wish to be a part of.

I am passionate about our community and I have worked hard to lay the foundation that will move Sooke forward.

With the new OCP, the new road network, the parks and trails plan, and the storm water plan in place, I am focused on implementation and our future success.

I am running to complete some of the projects we have started: OCP, liquid waste management, downtown revitalization and affordable housing. To represent all the people of Sooke by taking a common sense approach to decision making. To work to ensure a viable future for the District of Sooke.

I am running for Sooke Council because I care about my community. I grew up here, and I would like to see Sooke become a thriving and attractive community. I am absolutely certain that this can be attained by electing dedicated candidates who truly care about our town.

In these challenging times, I wish to be of service to our unique Sooke community. I will reflect the values and ideals of our residents, endeavour to transform our collective vision into reality and provide fiscally responsible leadership and good planning to ensure a prosperous and healthy community.

I am running for re-election because the downtown plan, the parks and trail plan, the transportation plan plus the official community plan (our vision of Sooke) need councillors who will be committed to implementing initiatives that will bring Sooke forward as the jewel of the West Coast. I am that person.

Sooke has diverse demographics... and Rick believes our citizens must be respected, encouraged and celebrated. Equally important are Sooke’s seniors. We must create a more “age-friendly” community to better serve our senior citizens. In order to encourage growth, our surroundings must be revitalized to meet the needs of our citizens.

Facebook Groups for Local Election - 2

A lot more facebook groups have appeared for the candidates in the last few weeks. There are some very powerful uses for this new tool. If you are an admin for a group, you have the power to send all the members messages. The groups also allow reasonable two way communication with supporters but is controlled enough that you can avoid being attacked online.

Very few people seem to be using this tool effectively as of yet. The one corelation I can see here is that the younger candidates seem to be the ones that make better use of this tool than the older ones. Sean McNulty in Central Saanich really has figured out how to use facebook for his campaign.

Facebook is good because people have to chose to join and therefore are have a higher degree of support of a candidate. This is a great tool to find volunteers and get people out to events.

Some people are using the support for a politician type page, I do not see those as effective campaign tools.

Here is the list of the ones I know about, if you know of others, please let me know:

City of Victoria


Oak Bay

  • Ali Gaul - 105 members and she has used facebook well to campaign
  • Lori King - 84 members and a good source of information
  • Jeremy Baker - 76 members rather quickly and he is using facebook to reach out.
  • Meagan Brame - 35 members and some information

Central Saanich



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The attempt to look at the field in the Victoria election

Robert Allington has no website, but has been involved with the Democratic Reform Party of BC, you can read his bio there.

Nick Baker is downtown business owner but what business I do not know. He seems to be mainly interested in the drug and homelessness issues of downtown.

Joseph Boutilier is only 18 but has more experience with local government than most of the people running. This comes from his time on the City of Victoria Youth Council.

Suzanne Carroll, all I know about her is that she seems to be from Saltspring Island. I believe she has made it to one all candidates meeting

Sonya Chandler is a Green running for re-election. I have been happy with her on council, though I know there are others that have not been fans, but in politics no one is liked by everyone. She has been endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council.

Chris Coleman is a friend and I would love to seem him re-elected. He has all the qualities one wants of a city councilor, best of all I know of no one that is able to listen better to concerns and be able to understand the underlying interests and find a balance.

Tavis Dodds is a member of the Work Less Party. He is anti-poverty activist and a liberation theologist according to Monday Magazine. He has been involved with the tents in parks stuff.

John Farquharson is campaigning hard to get elected. He might be really good, but it is so hard for me to get a real sense of him without having met him. From what I see, he should be able to be a good councilor.

Chris Gillespie is another young candidate. For some reason there are a lot of late teens/early 20s guys running for council. I can not get much of sense of him from his website.

Gregory Hartnell is doing a good job of providing coverage of the all candidates meetings. He is the editor of La Rosa and was involved with saving St Ann's. He is part of the Concerned Citizens Coalition.

Rose Henry is active in many poverty issues in the region. She is involved with the Friendship Centre.

Barry Hobbis operates the Victoria Harbour Ferries. His concern is for safe and clean streets.

Wayne Hollohan is predident of the Fairfield Community Association and would make a good addition to council. Read his account of a night at a shelter, I only have eight votes...

Lynn Hunter was the NDP MP for Saanich - Gulf Islands from 1988 to 1993. She is on a slate with Dean Fortin and Pam Madoff and endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council.

Patrick Jamieson is also with the Concerned Citizens Coalition. I know very little about him.

Allen Jones is a priest working on the streets of Victoria. He is also with the Concerned Citizens Coalition.

Jonathan Le Drew from Saltspring, but I can find out nothing else.

Philippe Lucas is a Green and heads the Vancouver Island Compassion Society. He has been endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council.

Jane Lunt was at one time a VCE councilor in Victoria elected in 1993 and 1996. I have not been able to find any evidence of her campaign online.

John Luton is a cycling advocate and clearly has the support of the NDP side of the spectrum as seen on his endorsement page - I wish more candidates would have endorsement pages. He has been endorsed by hte Victoria Labour Council.

Pam Madoff is running for re-election on a slate with Dean Fortin and Lynn Hunter. The Victoria Labour Council endorses her.

Chris Munkacsi - I will talk more about him later, we are having a coffee at Spiral Cafe tomorrow evening at 7pm.

Simon Nattrass is young but seems to have a better grasp of the issues than most people out there. I am voting for him.

Denis Oliver I know very little about him and only have the Chamber of Commerce questionaire to go by.

Richard Park - more youth on the ballot. He looks like he is following the Rob Flemming route in politics, parlay his time in UVic politics into a council seat.

Robert Randall - I am very impressed with Rob and really would like to see him get elected. Please vote for him.

David Shebib is another homelessness activist, but I can not find out much about why he is running for council.

Diana Smardon has almost information on her website or facebook group.

Charlayne Thorton-Joe is running for re-election. I am simply stunned at the dedication she has for this city and how her heart is open. Vote for her, please.

John Turner is bizzare, it sounds like he is running for mayor. I assume he meant to repeat for mayor but decided to run for council. If you can make sense of his website and what wants to do, please summarize it for me. He looks he is a nice well meaning guy, but not ready for prime time.

Jon Valentine I can find nothing about him at all.

Tim Van Alstine is making another run for council, last time was in 1999. He has been the chair of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association since 1993. He has been active in local government issues for 17 years now and is clearly ready to be on council.

Pieta VanDyke was on Victoria council from 1987 to 1990. She has been involved in the community for many years and has the experience to be on council, but her platform is too anti-development for my liking. It is also curious that as a former Vice Chair of the Victoria Labour Council that they did not endorse her.

Susan Woods I met with her for coffee a few weeks ago and I was more than impressed. She is knows the issues, she knows the process and she is intelligent and throughful. She also comes at things from a cooperative approach that seeks commonality. Please vote for her.

Geoff Young is back for another term. He is an economist, we need a lot more economists elected on all levels of government. He is fiscally responsible, pragmatic, listens well, informed, environmentally aware, and generally a very decent guy. Victoria made a mistake when he was not elected mayor back in 1999. Please vote for Geoff Young.

Peninsula News review Coverage of Sidney Candidates

Angling for Sidney council

Long time Sidney resident and active community member Steve Price has filed his papers for the upcoming civic elections in Sidney.

Price’s platform includes a strong desire to keep Sidney’s small town charm and character intact. He says he will achieve this through careful consideration of the size and height of future developments, as well emphasis on designs in keeping with a west coast seaside village. Price is also concerned with the current trend to build massive developments on small church properties in residential neighborhoods. “I believe the church’s traditional role in the community would be more acceptable to the people of Sidney,” said Price.

Homelessness is a concern for Price. “Sidney is starting to develop a homeless problem. We should provide some form of shelter and washroom facilities for temporary use as well as find more permanent homes and treatment. We just have to look towards Victoria to see how this can spin out of control.”

Price is married and has raised three sons in Sidney seeing them through Sidney school, North Saanich middle school and Parkland secondary.

Price has considerable community involvement in many areas. As director and president of the Peninsula Soccer Association, Price worked closely with council and town staff in the negotiations to provide space for the Sidney Lawn Bowlers club to establish themselves at Iroquois Park, while at the same time preserving the adjoining soccer field that was slated for removal. The outcome was a win-win situation for both Sidney’s seniors and youth and demonstrates Price’s common sense leadership, he says.

 As member, director and president of the Sidney anglers association for over five years Price was hands-on in the ongoing restoration of salmon habitat with the clubs stream project at Reay Creek. During his time as president the Sidney Anglers were acknowledged and awarded by the federal government for 25 years of the most successful work they had seen. Reay Creek is now used as a model for other restoration projects in Canada. Price also designed and built Sidney’s first wild salmon release pen from which tens of thousands of salmon have been released into the wild. The survival of the local fish population is important to Price.

 Price is also a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and would like to remind everyone that it is Remembrance Day poppy time once again and all donations down to the penny are returned to the community and to our vets in need. His campaign will be without the usual outdoor posters and signs as he feels electors should vote based on values and not advertising. Price encourages all who would donate to his run to instead give to the Legion’s poppy drive.

Former planner runs in Sidney

An extensive career in planning, including years as planner for the Capital Regional District, Victoria, Saanich and Vancouver gives Graham Stallard an interest in municipal growth. Stallard now wants to bring his experience to Sidney council.

“My [recent] trip to Seaside and Astoria underline my attraction to coastal communities with character,” said Stallard. “I was born and raised in one on the Isle of Wight, and skippered my Dad’s tourist boats before I could drive. I have never been far from the water since. All of the smaller coastal communities seem to have suffered from economic change over the years, with tourism being the current favourite. I have mixed feelings on that issue, but then it is all part of the ominous inevitability of growth and change, but it can be done gracefully.”

The retiree currently serves as a director of the BC Aviation Museum, a member of UVIC’s Facilities Development and Sustainability sub-committee, assisting the Tsawout First Nation, and as a correspondent for an international passenger shipping magazine

Stallard’s career as a planner spanned 40 years and includes experience with a variety of government agencies in south western British Columbia, including municipalities, regional districts and provincial ministries.

“While nominally a policy specialist, I am familiar with, and have worked on, many government responsibilities and issues. Particular favourites included economic development, waterfront uses and activities, and emergency services,” he said.

Stallard says he is thoroughly familiar with the Local Government system, including relating to politicians, staff, advisory bodies and the public.

Since 1968, Stallard has served the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) and the Canadian Institute of Planners in a variety of roles. “My major contribution was as editor of PIBC News for many years (and now as “Curmudgeon” the columnist),” he said.

Stallard has also worked as a tourism counsellor at the Pat Bay Highway Visitor Information office, and served on Sidney’s Advisory Planning Commission.

Peninsula News Review

Going from gallery chair to council seat

Mervyn Lougher-Goodey is running for Sidney Council after serving the community in various commissions and committees over the past decade.

Prior to his retirement from the Canadian Forces, Lougher-Goodey held senior appointments including Chief Engineer for the Canadian Forces in Europe and Chief Engineer for the Army. On retirement in Ottawa he immediately got involved in the local community and volunteered with the Heritage Commission, OXFAM and the Humane Society.

Moving to Sidney a year later to care for his elderly parents in Victoria in 1998, Lougher-Goodey committed himself to serve his new community in Sidney. Presently his activities include chairing the Saanich Peninsula Water Commission and Wastewater Management Committee as the Sidney-appointed citizen. He is a Governor and Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Island and Yukon branch of the Corps of Commissionaires. He is just wrapping up eight years of service as a Sidney nominee on the Victoria Airport Authority Board of Directors. He previously served as a Sidney nominee on the CRD Water Advisory Committee, which he chaired for five years.

“Probably my most exciting challenge as a Sidney volunteer was when I was asked to be a founding Director of the Saanich Peninsula Health Association,” he said. “I was elected as one of Sidney’s representatives and we fought as a community the potential closing of our Saanich Peninsula Hospital.” He has been the vice chair of the Sidney Advisory Planning Commission and chair of the Sidney Heritage Commission. He has been pleased to be able to volunteer for Beacon Community Services, Habitat for Humanity and Mount St. Mary’s Hospital.

Lougher-Goodey has taken a great interest in the governance of the Town of Sidney and during the last eight years has attended weekly council and committee meetings as a member of the public gallery.

He says watching council in their deliberations and being involved in the community has enabled him to follow and understand the challenges that face Sidney.

“Perhaps two significant issues that may impact Sidney in the long run and require the most thought will be the continued demographic imbalance and the future development within Sidney following the guidance of our recently updated Official Community Plan,” he said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Peninsula News review coverage of North Saanich Candidates

Peninsula News Review

North Saanich Mayor runs again

With two terms as mayor and a term on North Saanich council under his belt, Ted Daly has decided to contest the chair again during this year’s municipal election. “I decided that I still have some unfinished business,” he said. “I looked at my [campaign] brochure from last time, and there are a couple of issues that we haven’t got to.”

One of those is housing, he said, both for younger people needing starter homes and for seniors looking to remain in the community. “I firmly believe we need to be more of an inclusive community,” he said. “A community isn’t a community unless we welcome everyone.”

While he recognizes that there has been some discussion about what ‘affordable housing’ could mean in a municipality like North Saanich, Daly said that he has a clear idea of what he wants to see being built: “Starter housing, smaller houses, that people can start out with. We don’t have anything like that in the district.”

For seniors, he doesn’t buy into the idea that says seniors in North Saanich can simply move across the highway to Sidney if they need to downsize. “I’ve talked to seniors who said, why should I have to leave if I’ve lived here for 30 years?” he said.

The other issue is the tax base in the municipality, which Daly would like to diversify. He feels that homeowners are carrying a disproportionate amount of the load with municipal taxes. “We need to include an industrial and commercial tax base.”

Both those issues took steps forward during Daly’s last term; the airport land, which he sees as a prime location for industrial and commercial development, will now be the site of a warehouse and office facilities along Mills Road.

During his last term, housing also took a step forward with the housing strategy. Council has currently agreed to look at allowing secondary suites, but left other questions in the strategy — such as higher density housing around the highway and airport — for the next council.

Daly said he feels some of the properties that developers are currently looking at are suitable for housing. “One, on McDonald Park Road by Parkland school, is a perfect location; it’s not rural, it’s on a busy street, near transport and beside a high school,” he said. “The other is in the Canora/Rideau area, beside the Park-and-Ride; it’s across from the airport.”

Daly said that he has been battling a perception that he would like to “ruin the rural ambiance of North Saanich” ever since he first ran for council 10 years ago. That, he says, isn’t true; he recognizes the importance of the rural and marine ambiance and heritage of the district and believes that staff and council have made ongoing strides in protecting both.

As to those who would accuse him of trying to completely develop North Saanich, he doesn’t think there are any projects created over the past decade that people can point to to prove it. “Am I pro-development? Yeah, I am,” he said, but that, he emphasized, doesn’t mean he wants to put a Home Depot or Costco on every corner.

There was one element of his last campaign that hasn’t happened that won’t be back on the agenda this time — the idea of village centres. “That’s something I put out there, and it didn’t fly,” he said, adding that he still thinks it’s a good notion. In fact, some of the things he saw as part of that controversial proposal have actually gone on to happen — the farmers’ market that started at the Deep Cove Market this summer fit perfectly with his vision of places for people to gather. “I think maybe my vision wasn’t clearly expressed [at the time],” he said. “I take some of the blame for that; maybe I wasn’t very clear about my vision of village centres.”

This time around, Daly isn’t running as part of a team; he thinks that Bob Shaw and Sheilah Fea, who were a part of that group three years ago, have successfully made their mark on council and, if they choose to run (Shaw has said he will), won’t need the backing of a team.

Daly recognizes that he may, if re-elected, face another split council, where opinions on central issues are divided on the seven-member body. He’s thought about how to keep council working better together as a team, however. “I put out a brochure with my vision, and if I’m elected as mayor and the majority of council doesn’t share my vision, that’s a tough position for me to be in,” he said. “I look at it and say, I’ve got to work with council to look at the issues that got them elected, and find common areas where we share a vision. If you work together on a common vision at the beginning, that will pull you together.”

Recently retired from his job as a labour relations negotiator, Daly believes that — aside from six years of experience in the role — he’s got the personality and the drive to be mayor. For one, he’s good at, and enjoys, the social side.

“A big part of the mayor’s job is promoting the district … I’m very much a people person,” he said.

He believes his track record shows what he can do.

“I’ve always been a self-starter, and always been an organizer,” he said. “I was president of the little league, and we needed a new ball park; that’s why I ran for council the first time … building Rotary Park, people said it couldn’t be done. Not only did it get done, it got built by volunteers and we got a major grant.

“You can get things done when you get people coming together; that’s something a mayor has to be able to do.”

Peninsula News Review

Second term time for focus on environment

After her first three years on North Saanich council, Cairine Green believes she’s learned a bit about what it takes to keep things moving in municipal politics. On her her new blog, which asks readers to ‘re-elect Cairine Green for councillors,’ she lists good listening skills, compromise, courage, and checking your ego at the door as necessities for getting work done.

Now she’s hoping to take what she learned in the first term into the upcoming three-year stint.

“I believe my record speaks for itself,” said Green. “I was elected as an independent, grass roots candidate and have worked hard to balance community needs.” She believes that she still has that grass roots support behind her in the new campaign, and added that residents have told her they appreciate her honesty. “They always knew where I stood on important issues,” she said.

Important issues for the next term include environment and land use, Green said. “North Saanich residents are passionate about land use,” she said. “They realize that careful planning is fundamental if we want to protect rural and agricultural lands for future use.” With regards to implementing the recommendations of the housing strategy, Green said she supports the inclusion of secondary suites in the district.

“Secondary suites provide a range of options for all age groups that address housing attainbility and concerns about high density.”

She said she believes that the 2007 Ipsos-Reid survey of North Saanich residents highlighted their concerns about growth and the environment, and that her record in council over the past three years has shown her interest in those topics. She said she introduced the first “no idle” zone on municipal grounds, advocated to establish an Agricultural Advisory Commission, supported a marine task force and a new municipal carbon neutral reserve fund, and was council liaison to the North Saanich Environmental Advisory Commission as well as to the local First Nations.

Green, who believes that North Saanich is at a crossroads in the next election, hopes that residents take the time to learn about all the candidates and the issues.

“I think that North Saanich voters will have a clear choice about which direction they want this municipality to take,” she said.

Visit Green online at her blog,

Peninsula News Review

Shaw runs again

Councillor puts focus on housing, finances

North Saanich councillor Bob Shaw has announced that he will run for a second term in this November’s municipal election. He said that the decision to run for re-election was not an easy one, citing this term’s split council, which led to situations such as the 4-3 vote on the Panorama waterslide tower height issue, as a frustration. Shaw voted in favour of the waterslide height variance.

“The majority of residents in North Saanich are under-represented,” Shaw said. “Council decision-making has been unduly influenced by special interest groups and a vocal minority who want no change — no growth, commercial development, or housing options for families and seniors.” He said he wanted to see a return to representative, responsible and accountable government, with efficient and effective decision making in council. “I’m hoping that we’ve all learned from the experience, and that we will all learn to achieve things on a consensus basis and work towards achieving that,” he said of this term’s council.

Shaw’s priorities for a second term would include implementation of the recommendations in the housing strategy, especially those related to secondary suites and housing for young families and seniors. Growth around the highway, as recommended in the strategy, makes a lot of sense to Shaw. “The regional growth strategy suggests that we have housing in or around transportation and shopping, and certainly I think the area along McDonald Park Road and Canora Road would provide that; as well, it would have the least impact on existing neighbourhoods,” he said.

Shaw would look to implement the Marine Task Force report recommendations, although he said that there was work to be done with the shoreline inventory and respecting the rights of waterfront property owners. As well, he hopes that the development of the agricultural strategic plan will help the district promote and protect agriculture in North Saanich. Public consultation, he emphasized, would be a cornerstone of decision-making for him.

Shaw, who says he is committed to minimizing the residential tax burden, has acquired some expertise on that issue in his day-to-day life: when not meeting in council chambers, he is a chartered accountant with experience in the area of local government finance and operations. “I really do understand municipal finance and operations,” he said.

He added that he felt the district needed to focus on better long-term financial planning and careful infrastructure improvement. “All the issues have financial implications and it’s important for me to sit on council and provide the benefit of my experience,” he said.

Peninsula News Review

Farmer, author, goes for third

With two terms under her belt, North Saanich councillor Anny Scoones has decided to try for another one.

“My focus is to continue to maintain the delicate balance of slow growth and economic diversity, with the enhancement of our rural, cultural, marine and agricultural assets,” she said.

Scoones said she believes that housing and development issues continue to be a priority for the municipality; those elected to council will face decisions on the recommendations of the housing strategy soon after the start of their term.

“I support low density, well designed, environmentally sound housing and housing options, such as secondary suites and clustering, in appropriately zoned pockets of North Saanich,” she said.

With the current world financial situation, Scoones said that fiscal restraint in the municipality would be key over the next three years. She suggested a cap to budget increases for each department as well as more pro-active pursuit of grants as two ways to handle economic strain. “I support economic ventures in keeping with the tone and pace of our community, such as our new farmers’ market, agritourism, and recreational or cultural pursuits such as eco-tourism and regulated bed-and-breakfasts,” she said.

The environment and related issues have long been a special interest of Scoones’; she lists herself as having advocated for restrictions on the cosmetic use of pesticides, ‘best practice’ approaches towards the marine industry, and the preservation of rural hedgerows. During the next term she would look to see the district’s trail and bicycle path network and park space expanded.

“Outdoor burning is one issue which defines our rural nature,” she said, adding that she supports outdoor burning regulations and would be willing to consider extending the burning days if it included public education.

“Using common sense, creative and thoughtful ideas, and a slow, not a no-growth approach, our lifestyle in North Saanich can only be enhanced,” Scoones said.

Peninsula News Review

Blueberry farmer a council candidate

Local businesswoman Ruby Commandeur believes she can enhance the character that makes North Saanich a unique community, and that a seat on council is the way to do it.

“I’m running because I believe it takes determined leadership to value and appreciate this unique place where we all live and work,” said Commandeur. “Growing a greener North Saanich is my vision.”

Commandeur has wide-ranging business experience. She began her own chiropractic practice and founded a radiology clinic in Victoria; now she is the owner and operator of Ruby Red Farms, Vancouver Island’s largest organic blueberry farm. Farm and rural land are important aspects of North Saanich in Commandeur’s campaign. “North Saanich is one of the last pastoral gems in the Capital Regional District,” she said. “Residents have told me their priorities are retaining our rural character, green space, trails, marine habitat and ensuring that North Saanich remains a safe and tranquil place to raise their families.”

 Commandeur added that the 2007 Ipsos-Reid survey indicated that residents are concerned about unmanaged growth and urban sprawl in the community.

Financial accountability is another keystone of Commandeur’s council campaign. “I will hammer away on the need to be accountable and transparent on how, why, and where we spend taxpayers’ money,” she said.

 She has experience in the political realm; she was North Saanich’s appointee to the Peninsula Agriculture Commission, and sat on planning committees for two provincial ministries as a special needs advisor. She’s also a community advocate for people with special needs, she said. “I understand the necessity to have inclusive communities and affordable and accessible housing,” she said, emphasizing that the municipality needed to adopt a collaborative model for planning and focus on public consultation.

Updates on Commandeur’s campaign will be available at

Peninsula News Review

Housing key, North Saanich candidate says

For years, Janet Rooke had kept a close eye on her children’s future. She joined Parent Advisory Councils to have a say in their schooling and volunteered with other organizations to make sure they were getting the best preparation possible for life.

Then, as they grew up, she stopped to look around at North Saanich, the community they were growing in, and realized that when they hit adulthood, they probably wouldn’t be able to stick around.

“I was appalled to find there are very few opportunities for young people in this community,” she said. “It seemed the best North Saanich can do is to stick them in a suite in somebody’s basement.”

Now a candidate for North Saanich council, Rooke has announced that her main focus will be on providing better housing for young families, seniors, and workers in the community. She said she believes that suitable development proposals have come to council — offering multi-unit housing for young families or seniors — but that they have all been delayed or turned down. Areas near the highway and Sidney would be good locations for similar proposals, she added.

“I do not believe that secondary suites are the right way to treat young families or seniors,” she said. “Surely they deserve better than that.” She added that those who work in the community also have few options besides commuting.

“We want them to wait our tables, pump our gas, fix our cars and our boats but apparently don’t want them living near us,” she said.

Rooke would also look to increase employment opportunities in the district through an increase in commercial business opportunities. “This would have the advantage of broadening the tax base and easing the tax burden on homeowners,” she said. With her own day job in the marine industry, she said she believes that many of the recommendation in the Marine Task Force report would be helpful in opening up that industry and related jobs.

“There are those that oppose any development in North Saanich, saying that any new development is the thin edge of wedge, and will ruin the rural atmosphere,” she said. “I want to change this; I believe we all have a common goal to maintain the rural atmosphere of North Saanich. However, I believe there are some places in North Saanich that could be developed to provide housing … without impacting our valuable rural ambiance.”

Local architect runs for council

Architect Curtis Miles is hoping that a position on North Saanich council will be an opportunity to consider the needs of the municipality’s future residents.

“There’s a need to look to the future and ensure that North Saanich grows in response to the needs of its present, and, equally important, its future residents,” he said. “To do so will require a mature and responsible council.”

Miles, who has lived in North Saanich for 20 years, said that his past experience would serve him well on council. He is the past presidnet of the Sidney Rotary, a director on the boards of groups like the Children’s Wish Foundation and Big Sister/Big Brothers Society, and has sat on advisory design and heritage design panels. His work as an architect, he said, gives him an interest and grounding in the growth of communities.

Miles would look to support affordable housing and housing for seniors, if elected, as well as protecting the community’s rural and agricultural nature. “I want to see that we protect our green spaces while ensuring that new growth is responsible,” he said.

He also intends to take a strong stance on taxes, believing that there should be no increase. “I believe in fiscal restraint, by supporting new initiatives and streamlining old, all to achieve balanced budgets,” he said. He would also work to bring transparency to district proceedings and work to review the district’s rules and regulations to determine if any are outdated.

“North Saanich is a pearl in today’s noisy and polluted urban settings,” he said. “As residents of this precious community, we should share in its uniqueness and its opportunities to continue to have a special place in the Peninsula.”

Coverage in the Saanich New of all of the Saanich Candidates

This is a good article from the Saanich News on all of the candidates in the race in Saanich.

Introducing Saanich council candidates

With the federal election out of the way, it's time to focus on municipal politics. The deadline to file election papers was Oct. 10. The only current councillors who are not running again are Bob Gillespie and Jacki Ngai. In this issue, the Saanich News speaks with the seven incumbents seeking re-election, including mayor Frank Leonard. We also introduce six new challengers, including Harald Wolf, competing for the top mayor's spot.


Mayoral Candidate: Frank Leonard

Background: Leonard has been mayor of Saanich since 1996. Previously, he managed three Victoria Tire Ltd's stores and served on council since 1986.

-Top 3 current committees:

Saanich police board, chair

Regional transit commission, member

Federation of Canadian municipalities, member

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

The strides we've made on the sustainability file. Everything from pipes in the ground to the sustainable climate action plan, which has now been recognized as an award-winning program in B.C.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

Building on that success and keeping the municipality safe. I think it's a tremendous success that our police, fire and emergency services are not controversial. I've always made those a priority and worked those files personally.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Changed economic times. The yellow-caution light is on now, but next year's budget sessions could be in a very different economic climate. I have led a council (and been in business) through those sorts of times before.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

This is been the best council I've ever had in 22 years. It's been very issue-focused and more than 90 per cent of decisions have been unanimous. I would be hard pressed to criticize this council.

Council Candidate: Vic Derman

Background: A retired school teacher, Derman has been on Saanich council since 2002 and has served as president of the North Quadra Land Use Protection Association.

-Top 3 current committees:

Saanich arts, culture and heritage committee, chair

CRD water commission, chair

CRD liquid management committee, member

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

I led the effort to make sure that we didn't waste over $1 billion going the wrong way with sewage treatment.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

My goal is to get us moving to the future and promise offered by the Natural City (a personal initiative to prioritize the environment in all new development).

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Climate change and the need to meet infrastructure requirements. We need to change dramatically the way we design and build our urban environment.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

I'd very much like to see more public presentations. We don't allow presentations and other municipalities do. Also, to get items on the committee of the whole (agenda), rather than the council agenda, so that people can speak to them.

Council Candidate: Leif Wergeland

Background: After 25 years as a business owner, Wergeland semi-retired in 1992. He was first elected to Saanich council in 1996.

-Top 3 current committees:

Saanich transportation and planning committee, member

CRD water board, member

CRD liquid waste management committee, member

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

The focus on the need to continually look for opportunities for affordable housing and to ensure that Saanich develops a good mix for all economic levels and ages.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

People are concerned about many issues such as climate warming and taxes -- issues that are tied together. My goal is to encourage and expect change -- such as responsible budgeting and alternative forms of transportation.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Transportation is a big issue. I think we should address it in the form of development we are doing. Also on a regional level, encouraging alternate forms of transportation and encouraging people to change their ways of getting around.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

Even though I believe we are a very open council, we have to continue to look at new avenues of engaging the public.

Council Candidate: Vicki Sanders,, facebook politician's profile

Background: Sanders has a career in accounting, marketing and the arts and has been a Saanich resident for more than 50 years.

-Top 3 current committees:

Saanich environment committee, chair

Administrative traffic committee, co-chair

Finance and personnel committee, member

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

I'm proud of encouraging public involvement and being receptive to the community and open and approachable.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

To uphold that. I would like truly accessible government. (I also) strongly support arts and heritage and the environment.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

I think the most pressing things will be to address the issues the community finds important -- such as transportation and safety -- and doing that within the constraints of (the economic downturn) without having to increase taxes.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

I would like the opportunity for the community -- both residential and business -- to give presentations. I would like them to have the opportunity to speak to issues that we bring forward as recommendations.

Council Candidate: Susan Brice

Background: Before serving on Saanich council, Brice has been mayor of Oak Bay and MLA for Saanich South. She is currently director of Victoria Silver Threads.

-Top 3 current committees:

CRD environment committee, chair

CRD round table for the environment, chair

Healthy Saanich, chair

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

I brought to our council a motion that we go pesticide-free on municipal lands.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

To carry on by encouraging, through positive example and bylaws, a way to make Saanich (residents) go pesticide free.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Pressure on our land. I have been a strong advocate for maintaining our Agricultural Land Reserve and our Urban Containment Boundary. Recognizing that we don't want sprawl, so to intelligently find ways to infill and densify.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

Applicants would have to submit any information regarding their proposal on the Friday prior to the council meeting. (Last-minute information) leaves you trying to fill in the blanks and hope you've got it.

Council Candidate: Wayne Hunter

Background: After 27 years as a school administrator, Hunter served as mayor of Central Saanich. He was elected to Saanich council three years ago.

-Top 3 current committees:

Mayor's alternate at the CRD

CRD water board, member

Saanich parks, trails and recreation committee, member

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

I contributed to the stability of council. I believe I work well with and within council. I hate five-four votes. That is not an agreement.

What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

Work on the Official Community Plan. For one, better balance and transportation; two, better affordable housing initiatives, secondary suites and granny flats; and three, ensuring we're a leader in greening our community.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Finding how to balance all those balls. I'm concerned that some other communities will come under quite a bit of (financial) stress and being the biggest (in the CRD) you have a responsibility to other smaller communities to carry them along with you.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

A public hearing should be about hearing the public -- not to hear a bunch of councillors up the ante or debate the whole issue again. Stop talking, start listening.

Council Candidate: Judy Brownoff,, facebook profile

Background: Brownoff has been a small business owner since 1980 and a member of Saanich council since 1994.

-Top 3 current committees:

Smart Growth BC board, director

BC healthy communities steering committee, chair

Saanich bicycle and pedestrian committee, chair

-During your last term on council, what was the accomplishment you're most proud of?

The Senior Friendly Pilot Project in the Shelbourne Corridor had seniors and businesses talking about how the neighborhood could be more accommodating with an aging population.

-What is your main goal for your next term, should you be re-elected?

Establishing composting in Saanich so that Hartland will be the only landfill we need as we move forward to treat our waste as a resource and start to reuse it. Establishing a Food Policy Council to plan and manage our food sources. Producing five per cent of our needs and importing the balance is not sustainable.

-What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

With 25 per cent of our staff hitting retirement age within the next five to seven years, hospitals, beds and support services for our seniors are key issues.

-What one thing would you improve about council or its process?

Communication with our residents by way of town hall meetings, bi-monthly newsletters on what’s new, and a better, engaging website.


Mayoral candidate: Harald Wolf

On the web:, Facebook page

Professional background:

A self-described generalist, Wolf's had careers in information technology, the mining sector and construction.

What is your main goal on council as mayor, should you be elected?

I will strive to build an atmosphere of open governance, with increased transparency and more meaningful dialogue between stakeholders. The role of the advisory committees must be strengthened.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Saanich, like most suburban areas, will need to transition out of the traditional "hop-in-the-car for everything" model and into a more sustainable and liveable one. We also need to strengthen our local economy and interdependence, so we are less impacted by distant events over which we have no control.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

All decisions and actions must be driven by our shared vision for a sustainable future, rather than by piecemeal bartering on isolated development proposals.

Top three community involvements:

Helped integrate the water board into the CRD

Composting Centre and Sierra Club, volunteer

CRD waste-reduction speakers' bureau

Council candidate: Dean Murdock

On the web:

Professional background:

Murdock is the manager of health-sector monitoring with B.C. Ministry of Health Services.

What is your main goal on council, should you be elected?

I'm hearing on the doorstep that what we need most urgently is improved mobility. That's everything from rapid transit to sidewalk improvements. We need to function regionally to plan for transportation more efficiently. In Saanich, it means cycling lanes and dedicated transit lanes.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

The way we manage growth. That's where we're going to situate density and how we're going to protect agricultural land, greenspace and the quality and characteristics of Saanich.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

To council's credit, they probably are among the most publicly assessible councils in the region (but) I think that too much of the process has moved into the council portion where the public can be present but can't participate.

Top three community involvements:

Sierra Club Victoria Group, Chair and Director of Transportation Initiatives

Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, vice president

Saanich Environmental Advisory Committee, Community representative

Council candidate: Patrick Chénier

On the web:

Professional background:

Chénier is general manager of a non-profit with Aboriginal Sports and Recreation of B.C. and is certified as a high-performance coach.

What is your main goal on council, should you be elected?

I'm going to offer a balanced approach that would promote the environmental and social care of the community within a fiscally responsible framework. People have told me they want public accountability, they want fair taxation, they want value for money. We need to be living within our means.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

I think that the fiscal responsibility will be very critical. You look at what's happening with the whole financial world so we need to pay attention to that and make sure we our innovative, we find value for our money.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

Building community capacity for community associations and other stakeholders in the community. At the community association level, it's a small group of volunteers, and they do a lot of good work, so how do we engage a larger number of people?

Top three community involvements:

President of the North Quadra Residents Association

Saanich appointee to the Community Council for Greater Victoria

Sports B.C. board of directors

Council candidate: Paul Gerrard

On the web:

Professional background:

Gerrard owns a company in the construction industry on Vancouver Island, which is a member of the Canadian Home Builders' Association and the Victoria Construction Association.

What is your main goal on council, should you be elected?

Housing affordability. We have to start building for the working poor, for entry-level people, for the elderly, for young families. (As luxury condo development slows down), there's an opportunity here to get in, maybe with the municipality's help, and start getting some good affordable housing units on the page.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Land use and transportation planning. Saanich should be partnering with B.C. Transit to improve the system and the basic infrastructure so bus ridership will increase. In the long term, we should be looking at an integrated light rail system throughout the CRD.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

I turn the question around. People do not take the time to go to council meetings and voice their opinion or their problem.

Top three community involvements:

President of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association.

Vice chair of the Greater Victoria Public library board

board member of the Capital Region Housing Corporation.

Council candidate: Victor Hughes

On the web:

Professional background:

Hughes retired after 30 years with Canada Post and 20 years as a union representative.

What is your main goal on council, should you be elected?

Basically rejuvenating the public discourse and hopefully getting greater voter turnout. We have to look at a reorganization. We have the largest number of administrators by far of the four main communities down here.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

Affordability of housing. I'm proposing that we use the available land that is out there. Any schools that close, I am for allowing Saanich to use the property and return it to the public domain.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

We have to have a recognition of who is exactly speaking to council. Nobody is asked, 'are you a resident of Saanich?' (Also) I'd like to see referendums used for (big issues) like height restrictions.

Top three community involvements:

Patient-volunteer at the UVic medical program to discuss living with cancer and past addictions with alcohol

Member of online support groups of survivors of cancer

Council candidate: Robert Wickson

On the web:

Professional background:

Partner with Discovery Economic Consulting, provides economic advice mostly to the courts.

What is your main goal on council, should you be elected?

I would like to encourage a very strong level of debate around the issues and an opportunity to really engage the community in those issues.

What do you predict will be the most pressing issue to face Saanich over the coming years?

The issue is going to be how they grow and what they're going to look like in the future. They really need to be aggressive about some things but at the same time we need to be pulling back on some things. The rural areas need to be kept rural but the more urban areas should be pursuing those goals.

What one thing would you improve about council or its processes?

I'm not inside the tent yet, so I haven't done a good business analysis of how they operate. From (the outside) it seems there's a bit of a disconnect between council and the public.

Top three community involvements:

Ten years as treasurer of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association

President of the Bike to Work Society

Past president of the Greater Victoria and B.C. Chamber of Commerce

Coverage in the Oak Bay News

Oak Bay News

Candidates line up for Oak Bay council race

Unfinished business yet to be taken care of is the reason most returning Oak Bay councillors are running again for municipal office.

“The Oak Bay Beach hotel will come back (as an issue),” said Coun. Allan Cassidy, who was first elected in 1996. A practicing architect, Cassidy is chair of Oak Bay’s land use committee and his focus will continue to be around development issues, he said. In particular, Cassidy is keen to see modest Oak Bay homes saved from demolition.

“We keep looking at these demolition permit requests and (saying) ‘Tsk, tsk, we really should do something about losing all these bungalows,’ but we haven’t really done much.”

Cassidy wants to see some sort of incentive system put in place to encourage homeowners to renovate rather than demolish homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 range.

Allan Cassidy is married, has three adult children and has lived in Oak Bay since the early 1990s.

Coun. Hazel Braithwaite is also running again, aiming for a second term on council. She also wants to see the Oak Bay Beach hotel rise again. In addition, she is looking forward to following through on the “Mack and Jeanne” mixed-used development proposal for Estevan village.

“It’s going to be the next big thing because, once we start with one building there, I think others will follow suit.”

Whether to allow secondary suites in Oak Bay will continue to be an issue. Braithwaite will oversee that debate as chair of a committee that was struck last spring to examine the prospect. That committee, made up of elected and citizen members, has yet to meet. Braithwaite and her husband have lived in Oak Bay since 1988. Although she works as a learning specialist for Coast Capital Savings, her background is in geophysics.

Retired financial accountant John Herbert is again running for council.

“I think we have some interesting problems facing us,” Herbert said, “with sewage treatment and prioritizing our needs for new buildings and new programs to meet our changing population so I thought I would like to do it one more time.” Maintaining taxes at an affordable level in Oak Bay is going to be a challenge, Herbert said, given infrastructure upgrades the municipality must contemplate.

Herbert has lived in Oak Bay for 42 years. Married, he and his wife have three adult children and three grandchildren.

Government planner Pam Copley will run for a second term in the Nov. 15 municipal election.

“The experience of my first term on Oak Bay council has been richly rewarding,” Copley said, “(but also) a huge learning curve, sometimes intense and always incredibly busy.”

Copley was an advocate for cycling lanes on Henderson Road and served as Oak Bay’s representative on the regional library board.

She has lived in Oak Bay over 30 years. Copley is married and has three children ranging in age from teenager to young adults. Her father, 93, also lives with her family.

Crown prosecutor Nils Jensen was first elected to Oak Bay council in 1996. Jensen has been an advocate for cycling lanes along Henderson Road, she favours allowing more seating at south Oak Bay eateries and is currently trumpeting an expanded organic waste recycling program for Oak Bay. (Cloistered in a Vancouver court room this week, Jensen was unavailable for comment.)

Christopher Causton will run again for mayor for a record fifth term. Oak Bay mayoralty terms used to be for only year, said Oak Bay’s archivist Jean Sparks. “Then it moved to two years, then three. The most any mayor has sat for has been six years,” she said.

Causton refers to himself “as a generalist rather than a specialist.”

He does have specific projects he would like to see started up, if he gets to lead for another term. An upgrade for Carnarvon Park, more work completed on Henderson Park and Monterey Centre, as well as his pet project, completion of the E&N trail, are on his radar screen.

This year, the mayor has some competition in retired naval officer Ron Telfer. Causton said the competition is a good thing.

“I feel like I can actually get my message out and let people know who I am. No one knows who I am,” he joked.

Next week: The Newcomers. Oak Bay News will profile four Oak Bay residents vying for one vacant council seat and the one hopeful eyeing the mayor’s chair.

Making Electoral Reform an Issue Locally

If we can get locally elected politicians to be supportive of the Citizens Assembly process and speak out in favour of electoral reform, we will be close to get a vote for STV in May.

Take a minute to join this facebook group.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slates that are Running

In Saanich we have a slate centred around the mayor Frank Leonard with Susan Brice, Wayne Hunter, Leif Wergeland and Paul Gerrard rounding out the slate. I would call this a centre right community focused slate.

The Victoria Labour Council endorsements in someways create a defacto centre-left NDP slate through their endorsement of Judy Brownoff and Dean Murdock.

In Victoria we have a slate centred on Dean Fortin for mayor and Lynn Hunter and Pam Madoff for council this a strongly NDP identified slate.

We also have the Concerned Citizens Coalition running three candidates in Victoria, Patrick Jamison, Allen Jones and Gregory Hartnell.

The Greens are running two candidates for council, Sonya Chandler and Phillipe Lucas. Steve Filipovic is running for mayor as a Green.

There is an informal cooperation by a number of the candidates of the centre right in Victoria to send out information, Chris Coleman, Geoff Young, Charlayne Thorton-Joe and Rob Randall for council and Tom Ferris and Elaine Leonard for SD #61.

The VLC endorsed Zeb King and Sue Stroud and the two seem to be cooperating, though not a formal slate of any sort.

The North Saanich Voters Association has endorsed a slate of candidates, Ted Daly for Mayor and Sheilah Fea, Curtis Miles, Janet Rooke and Bob Shaw for council.

Full list of candidates

I finally have managed to have a full list of the candidates running for office in this region. My personal life has intervened and gotten in the way of updating things.

I do not have a list of the Saanich School District, I can not find out who is actually on the ballot in the Saanich area of SD#63. Also, once again the district has a lot of acclamations.

I am amazed that not every candidate has a website. How do they expect anyone to find out about them if we can not look up the information? I want to have link for each and every candidate, but you can see how few of them have made use of the web. It is so easy to start a facebook group or use blogger to create a web page that there is no excuse for anyone not having something online.

Candidates also need to make sure their signs have web addresses on them - only a name and nothing else really does not cut it. There has to be a way for people to find out more.

I am encouraged with how many more online resources there are in this election that are looking at the local elections. When I started this I had memories of 2005 when it was almost impossible to find out about who was running, let alone find anything out about them. Two chambers of commerce and several regional discussion boards are doing a good job of providing real information in this election. The Times Colonist has a local election blog, though not well set up in my opinion.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vibrant Victoria - A Great Resource for Candidates

I would urge all people running for election to check out the Vibrant Victoria.

From the website:
With thirteen municipalities, and a bewildering 43 candidates for Victoria City mayor and council, covering the coming municipal elections is no small feat. Vibrant Victoria is doing our part to get the information out there.

If you are looking for a list of candidates for your municipality check out our 2008 Election Candidates Stickies. We have one for the Core Municipalities and one for the Western Communities and Peninsula. These stickies include the key issues of candidates if we know them, and their campaign websites if they have one.

If you live in Victoria, and want to know where the All Candidates Meetings are, you will find a list here in our Elections Coverage area, while those who have attended the meetings are encouraged to share their thoughts with us on a thread called Victoria All Candidates Meetings: Your Impressions. For Saanich you can find a list of meetings on the Saanich All Candiates Meeting Thread,

In the 2008 CRD Municipal Elections area of the forum each candidate has a thread where they are welcome to post their platforms, and the public is welcome to ask them questions. This is also where people can share their thoughts about the candidate, or pass on bits of information about this candidate's positions on various issues.

There are certain issues that VV members have felt are critical to this election, and you can find them here, in the Election Issues area of VV. We have several candidates who have become members of VV (registration is free!) and who have bravely joined the discussion. Among them are Robert Randall, Susan Woods, Joseph Boutilier, Simon Nattrass, Pieta Van Dyke, and Corey Burger. Over 7,000 Victorians checked out VV last month, and with elections approaching, this month will be a new record for traffic.

With tough economic times ahead, street issues dominating the news, an affordable housing shortage crises, a labour shortage, and sewage treatment coming down the pipe, the next four years promise to be interesting times. And I mean that in the Chinese curse sense of the word. So who we put at the helm is a critical decision. The advantage of an open forum for election discussions is that YOU are welcome to add your information, thoughts and opinions to the mix. Candidates who grab the attention of VV members, or who participate in the discussion, have a chance to really stand out.

Lurkers are welcome - you can read the forum without registering. But to get rid of that annoying "wall o'ads" or to join in the discussion, take 5 minutes to register for free! Your information will be kept absolutely private, and never be sold or shared.

See you at the polls on November 15th! Our City depends on it!