Experience and Continuity
I offer more than 15 years of Council and committee experience beginning in the 1990s. Council is not the Legislature. It’s not about making speeches – it’s about making decisions. Council is more like a Board of Directors elected to make decisions on behalf of the local community. It’s about learning to work together with people who may have different values. I believe our role is to make the best decisions we can based on community input, advice from our professional staff and our own experiences.
Current Council responsibilities include:
> Chair, Planning and Development Committee
> CRD Alternate Director
> Advisory Planning Commission – liaison
> Board of Variance – liaison
> Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission
> Agricultural Advisory Committee – alternate
> South Island Prosperity Project – liaison
> Smart Cities Challenge – liaison
> Civil Emergency Executive Committee – Member
> Communications Sub-Committee – Member
> Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel – Member
> School District No. 63 White Road Committee
During this term I also served as Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee and sat on the Economic Development Advisory Committee.
“I have known Bob Thompson for many years, and know he gives consideration to all aspects of issues prior to making a decision. He is a dedicated supporter and advocate for the agricultural community on the Saanich Peninsula. I am pleased to endorse him as a candidate for Councillor in Central Saanich, and offer my best wishes for his re-election.”
Central Saanich resident / former Mayor of Sidney
“Bob Thompson has shown incredible dedication to public service through his decades of service to the community as a member of Council and a community volunteer. He brings to council his wealth of knowledge and experience, exceptional analytical and research skills and a moderate and reasoned approach. Bob is always willing to listen to a broad range of opinions and consistently shows compassion and empathy to those who seek his help. Bob will be at the top of my list on voting day and I encourage you to join me in voting for Bob on October 20.”
Allison Habkirk, Mayor of Central Saanich (2002-2005)
Open and Accessible
I’m a reasonable person. I enjoy engaging in conversations with people about local government and respect public input on Council matters. I’m a scientist by training and like to make information-based decisions. My extensive volunteer work in the community has given me the opportunity hear the diversity of opinions expressed by residents of Central Saanich. I also have a good sense of humour (although I am given to questionable puns).
Projects and Priorities
Affordable housing is a big challenge given the high cost of land and a limited land base – we are effectively out of land for new housing outside of village centres putting pressure on densifying existing neighbourhoods causing stress for established residential areas. Council’s residential infill and densification project is designed to engage the community in a conversation about this challenge. For the record, Council has approved 88 affordable rental units through rezoning (80: Greater Victoria Housing Society) and two Habitat for Humanity homes.
Infill and Densification Project
I support this important project. In order to protect ALR lands and rural lands, new developments are limited to within the urban containment boundary, so where do you build new homes? Residents want predictability in their neighbourhoods. What’s the minimum lot size? How big (or small) should new homes be? What about carriage houses and tiny homes? How do we protect privacy? I attended the Planning Institute of BC conference in Victoria in last spring – this problem is not unique to Central Saanich but a challenge across B.C.
Active Transportation Plan
Active transportation refers to human-powered transportation, generally walking and cycling (although you could include literal horse power in Central Saanich). It’s evident that many residents want to see construction of more sidewalks and multi-use trails. These are not inexpensive projects so it’s important to engage the community in a conversation, determine needs and priorities, come up with a plan and then find the money!
Safe Access off the Pat Bay Highway
I will continue to support Council’s historic pursuit of safe access off the Pat Bay Highway at Keating.
I’ve worked with food and agriculture organizations (What About Bob) over past 20 years and continue to support our farms as a Councillor. One of the most pressing needs is to allow on-farm farm worker accommodation, a concern I want to see resolved for larger farms for the 2019 growing season, then work on solutions for smaller farms.