Congratulations Saanich North and the Islands!
We once again returned the highest participation rate in a vote. When a vote is called, we turn out! We show up!
In the 2013 provincial election, we finished in the top three of voter participation with 69% voter turnout. Similarly, in 2017 we finished with 74% voter turnout. And, at the deadline for the 2018 referendum on electoral reform, we finished first among ridings in ballot returns at 53.2% of eligible voters. In the end, when the votes are counted, we are on the podium of participation.
It’s an honour to represent a riding that participates!
So, no matter how you vote, and our opinions are diverse, congratulations. We are pace-setters.
HÍSḴW̱E (Thank you) for engaging in our democracy. And, it’s not just at election time, because you are there for community dialogues and town halls as well. (Check out http://www.saanichnorthandtheislands.com/ for the next round of town halls in January with Elizabeth May.)
Throughout 2018, we focussed our constituency efforts on building and strengthening relationships. We hosted leadership luncheons with the W̱SÁNEĆ Chiefs and the Saanich Peninsula Mayors, met regularly with Islands Trustees and CRD Directors, and coordinated several meetings between leaders in our riding and provincial ministers.
Our community outreach extended to meetings with service organizations, leaders of faith communities, and business groups like the chamber of commerce, business improvement areas and the manufacturing group. We reached out to youth in elementary, middle and secondary schools in both districts (63/64), school board trustees and parent advisory committees from all corners of the riding.
We met with housing, health, transportation, education, sports, arts and culture advocates. And finally, we worked on emerging and current issues in every community, on a variety of topics, and worked individually with dozens of constituents.
Over the months, there have been many conversations, exposing many differences of opinion. I appreciate the thoughtful and respectful discussion (and at times, debate) we have had about important public policy. Disagreement is a part of a healthy democracy. As is a commitment to working through the disagreement, in discussion, to find common ground.
HÍSḴW̱E (Thank you) for caring enough to let me know.
Now, we work to keep the momentum going in 2019. There are many unfinished projects on the go that need a helping hand across the finish line and some others that will need more gentle nudging or heavy lifting.
HÍSḴW̱E (Thank you) for giving me this opportunity to represent you in the Legislature and our community.