Saanich Peninsula mayors weigh in on government change next week

Steven Heywood and Tim Collins

News staff

With the B.C. government expected to change next week, mayors of the three Saanich Peninsula municipalities are sharing their thoughts on working with a new New Democractic Party in Victoria — which has the backing of the three Green Party MLAs.

One of those Green MLAs is Adam Olsen, representing the riding of Saanich North and the Islands which encompasses Central Saanich, Sidney and North Saanich. The News Review reached out to the three local mayors.

Steve Price, Mayor of Sidney, says he’s optimistic in the change of government in the province.

“In particular, I believe our new MLA, Adam Olsen will work extremely hard in representing the needs of Saanich North and the Islands, and in particular Sidney,” Price stated in an email to the News Review. “I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Adam for close to nine years in various capacities, including when we were both appointed to the CRD Solid Waste Advisory. For me, it was one of my first appointments as a Sidney councillor and likewise for Adam as a newly elected councillor with Central Saanich.”

“Given Adam’s commitment to local issues and his understanding of the needs and issues facing Sidney,” Price continued, “I believe he will be a great advocate in assisting our council in realizing some of our key priorities – including such things as affordable workforce housing and critical infrastructure projects, such as the redevelopment of Beacon Wharf, for example.”

Central Saanich Mayor, Ryan Windsor describes himself as being pragmatic when approaching the new government.

“I would say that our priorities and approach won’t really change all that much. Our priorities will continue to involve issues like the Keating interchange, the balance between preserving farmland and the need for development and a lot of other issues we’ve raised before,” explained Windsor.

“I won’t say that I won’t be reaching out to Adam (Olsen). We have a good working relationship and those relationships can be important. I’m an optimist and I know we’ll continue to do some good things on infrastructure.”

Alice Finall, mayor of the District of North Saanich, said the riding had an NDP MLA during the last government “and that individual was incredibly energetic.”

She said the municipality is looking forward to good things from the new government, but doesn’t have any particular agenda to put forward.

“We have always done, and will continue to, drive local issues forward.”