Thank YOU for your support
Steve Duck is one of your Town of Sidney Councillors.
There have been several positive changes made during the term of the previous Council:
- Council and committee meetings are recorded and available for review.
- Public participation has been expanded to include Committee of the Whole meetings.
- Building heights have been limited pending the OCP review in response to public demand.
- The OCP review has been completed with significant public input achieved during a difficult pandemic.
We need to continue to implement positive changes and to ensure that we don’t lose some of the progress that has been made. This is particularly important in some major key areas.
Implementing the vision outlined in the new OCP
Though the new Official Community Plan (OCP) paints a broad picture of how Sidney is intended to develop in the medium to long term; the key issues will need to be addressed as the new zoning bylaw is developed and implemented. It is in this document that questions concerning density, building height etc. are clarified. In the past, the OCP lacked specificity which, many believed, enabled previous Councils to approve developments that did not reflect the spirit of the OCP intention, including some where there was clear public opposition.
As your Council representative, I will work with fellow council members, openly and transparently, to ensure that new zoning clearly reflects the intention of the OCP and captures the result of ongoing input from residents.
Engaging residents on major issues and capital projects
The pier at the foot of Beacon Avenue is, I believe, a critical piece of infrastructure that epitomizes the very identity of Sidney waterfront. There was a great deal of work done during the term of the existing Council. A working group was established and a consultant engaged to study alternatives for the future. Recommendations were made but it became very clear that the public was not happy with the proposed solution and, as a result, a decision on the future of the pier was postponed. This cannot be put off indefinitely. It would be irresponsible to delay until the existing pier deteriorates to the point where it is beyond repair or replacement and is lost because no Council wants to make a difficult decision. Residents should have the opportunity of providing input on deciding what to do with the pier, recognizing the costs involved of various alternatives and the impact on alternative projects.
As your Council representative, I will work with fellow council members, openly and transparently, to reopen the study of the future for Beacon Pier, define fully costed alternatives, seek broad public input and seek the approval of any necessary spending to a vote by residents.
Developing Active Transportation
We have wonderful community to enjoy. I walk and bike around Sidney and the Peninsula. However, our town is a destination for many who don’t have that option due to distance, ability or transport. So, parking is important as is a more robust public transit and active transportation network. Residents, Peninsula neighbours and visitors come to Sidney by car and will do so for the near future. Let everyone comfortably enjoy coming to the Town of Sidney.
As your Council representative, I will work with fellow council members, openly and transparently, to provide good access to our downtown, waterfront, parks and residential areas through an emerging active transportation plan for all individuals.
Ensuring fiscal responsibility
We are all familiar with the increase in costs for living as well as for saving for the future, if that is even possible. It is crucial that the next Council maintain tight reins on public spending and seek opportunities to limit any future tax increases. The new roundabout for Beacon Avenue West will be one of the first decisions to be made by a new Council in early 2023. Though there is a memo of understanding as to cost sharing, North Saanich Council have already placed a cap on their financial exposure to the project and the cost overruns that are expected. Sidney Council must not deliver a blank check because this project is felt to be essential. If necessary, ways must be found to engineer the roundabout to suit the budget. In similar ways we must seek to make the best use of the funds made available by Sidney taxpayers;
- Can we cooperate better with surrounding municipalities to make optimum use of facilities, services and equipment?
- As our population grows so does Town staff in order to provide a desired level of services. Can some of these functions be provided by employees who work from home? Such positions may be seen as desirable in the new post Covid economy.
As your Council representative, I will work with fellow council members, openly and transparently, to seek opportunities to make the best use of the hard-earned taxes provided by the residents of Sidney.
Share with your Sidney friends, neighbours and colleagues letting them know Steve Duck and Council colleagues: LISTEN, ENGAGE, ACT.