What does it mean for the Saanich Peninsula that we have 2 new mayors and a substantially different council in Sidney? Obviously, time will tell, but we were heartened to see a recent photo of the Sidney and North Saanich mayors together, smiling broadly, at the Grand Opening of the new peninsula Canadian Tire. Previous mayors and councils had idealized cooperation and pointed to the services that were currently shared as evidence of their harmony while it was clear relationships were anything but collaborative. Early conversations with many members of council and new mayors have generated cautious optimism amongst our board and chamber members that a shift in cooperation is happening.
In the lead up to the election, many citizens of Sidney and North Saanich expressed dissatisfaction about the change Sidney was experiencing. Responding to a perceived lack of control is legitimate; however, venting, or chronic complaining, always serves to deplete people’s energy, dampens positive attitudes, and almost inevitably results in people feeling wholly unmotivated to change behaviour.
We support our municipal leaders in fostering a climate of entrepreneurialism and mindful growth in our communities. We look forward to participating in discussions, about the complexion of the community we want to live and do business in, where there is laser-like focus on generating ideas and zero time wasted on debating facts. We encourage future facilitators of the OCP and area plan discussions to be strict about having ideas travel through the process accompanied by solutions. We are wildly enthusiastic about consultation where problem solvers are engaged in creating the plan for change.
It’s not our role to give advice, but we anticipate that this approach is less likely to result in a divorce four years from now. We look forward to working with all three councils to see the appropriate infrastructure and foundation develop on the Saanich Peninsula, to not simply sustain business, but to ensure it thrives.