An Oak Bay resident recently expressed concerns about the need for greater environmental protection (e.g. retaining trees), promoting the integrity of Oak Bay that allows and enhances green space (and parks), supporting cycling as a viable transportation option and careful land use that discourages high impact development. The following is, in part, my response to the resident.
I am responding to your questions about where I stand on important issues of development (or re-development and infill in the case of Oak Bay), preservation of green space and trees, environmental protection and support for cycling.
Briefly, my past 6 years as a North Saanich Councilor were highlighted by my working with a Mayor and group of Council members who shared similar values about land use. We worked to resist relentless density development pressure in an effort to preserve natural habitats and rural and agricultural lands.
I was an outspoken advocate for restoring efforts to build local food security and enhance agriculture and for emphasizing efforts to preserve our tree canopies, parks, trails, beaches and other natural habitats in and around the northern tip of the Saanich Peninsula.
I am proud of my record on the environment and worked hard to ensure that we established a municipal Agricultural Advisory Commission and a Marine Task Force to address marine habitat and foreshore issues. I was also instrumental in establishing a “no idle” zone on municipal property.
I advocated for expansion of local parkland and supported a decision to acquire from the CRD over 3 acres of waterfront on Lochside Dr. for a public park that will remain a natural habitat in public hands in perpetuity.
I was also an advocate for major expansion of cycling lanes and a cycling network throughout the municipality which now is one of the best on the Peninsula.
While I realize that North Saanich is a rural community compared to Oak Bay, I believe many of the issues related to land use, environmental protection of green and blue spaces, trees and local transportation, including the need for a better cycling network, are similar. Oak Bay residents who care about the future well-being of this community are as passionate about these issues as people were in North Saanich. Please visit my website and read my brochure and if you have any questions at all or other issues of concern, please let me know.