Amidst the busyness of the election campaign, our council term wrapped up this week with the final meeting September 26. The biggest item on the agenda was a critical one- council was being asked to endorse in principle the direction found in the Infill Housing public survey and consultation report. I’m extremely pleased with the survey content and the number of people that took the time to contribute (over 1600, the District’s most significant public engagement numbers to date). I was pleased to see this go ahead as the Infill Housing Strategy gives the next council critical information to guide the next phase of community engagement on housing creation. The priority should be to implement the findings of the report in the upcoming term, and to act boldly to address the regional housing crisis. Along with infill, if re-elected I want to look at protections for rentals and how we can incentivize more accessible housing options. I’ve heard a significant amount of support at the door to make this happen quickly and in a way that responds to the Oak Bay context. We surely have the creativity and vision to make this happen, and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to be a part of it.
Our council term has been challenging in sections; responding to COVID, making tough choices to raise taxes to address crumbling infrastructure, having the effects of climate change come to Oak Bay in real, damaging ways. I’m proud of the work I did this term but certainly not ready to take a victory lap- there’s much still to do. I finished off that last council meeting like I’ve done almost every meeting before- making notes to myself for the next one, writing down follow up questions for staff. I hope to have your support to be there at that next meeting and keep the work going.