As a Council member and member of the Official Community Plan Advisory Committee (OPAC), my commitment to the review and renewal of Oak Bay’s Official Community Plan (OCP) is strong. I believe in the process, I support the work of the OPAC and I attended almost all of the sessions, between May 25 and May 29, either to assist or as a “fly on the wall.” I have learned that the best way to get to know my community and what matters to those of you who live and work here is to participate in activities that bring everyone together.
The Open House and the visioning workshops have been well attended. You have been engaged, passionate and enthusiastic about having a voice in determining how Oak Bay will evolve over the next ten to fifteen years. You have not been shy about expressing what matters to you. You demonstrate the importance of bringing energy to a process such as this one — I have always said that I can deal with energy, negative or positive. What I have trouble dealing with is apathy. I am happy to report that you are anything but apathetic about the future of Oak Bay.
I have also learned that we cannot please everybody, a simple fact of life. But I have also learned that it is important to listen to and respect all points of view and you have been most respectful, both of the renewal process and of each other. Yes, there has been some public criticism and concern about the renewal process but, you know, it has been over sixteen years since Oak Bay last visited its Official Community Plan. I believe that there is a lot of pent up demand that was simply waiting for an opportunity to participate in a process that will make a difference to our future.
Despite the bumps along the way (yes, there have been some and there will be others), I am impressed with your commitment to this community and its quality of life. The fact that you care enough to show up and engage with others about what matters to you is enough for me. Thank you for making the time and effort to get involved in “choosing our future” by attending and participating in the community consultation phase of this major project.
I look forward to seeing many more of you at the next Open House, on June 4, 5:00 to 8:00 PM, Emmanuel Baptist Church gym, at the corner of Henderson and Cedar Hill X Road, North Oak Bay.