Patrica Pearson won the North Saanich byelection with 836 votes. She is now trying to put her campaign priorities into action. (Courtesy of Shea Long)

Farming, climate change top new North Saanich councillor’s agenda

Patricia Pearson supports plastic bag ban, youth activism and more Peninsula co-operation

North Saanich’s newest councillor places agriculture and climate-change top of her agenda, and looks to increase cooperation between municipalities.

In early April, Patricia Pearson comfortably won the competitive eight-person byelection, running on an energetic green platform, and she seems to have stayed true to her campaign priorities.

“In February, before I was elected, the CRD chair sent a letter urging districts to declare a climate emergency,” says Pearson. “North Saanich chose not to do anything. I hope to introduce a motion to declare a climate emergency.”

Recent alarming reports from scientists and the UN, prompted multiple districts across the south Island to declare an emergency and Pearson hopes her fellow councillors, will follow suit.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria youth rally around no-user-fee transit idea

“It [council members’ focus on climate-change] hasn’t been as strong as I’d like to see. It is in the strategic plan to review the climate plan but I haven’t seen a lot of action.”

Pearson says residents want to see swift action on this topic, but council is not due to review the plan, which sets staff commitments and budgets, for another year. She is hoping a committee can be arranged in the future, including residents and councillors, to research the issue.

North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr calls Pearson’s “environmental advocacy voice” a “positive addition to council’s table,” and while he concedes the District hasn’t gone as far as some municipalities, such as bans on plastic bags and drinking straws, he says the environment is “a priority for the municipality.”

Climate-change has emerged as a hot topic in local municipalities and Pearson, who holds a master’s degree in Public Administration, says she does not want North Saanich to waste time doing research already being completed by other municipalities. Although not a supporter of amalgamation, she advocates a joined-up approach, working with other districts so the same work is not duplicated.

In the byelection campaign, Pearson clearly courted the youth vote and she is keen to respect the current youth and student mood on green issues.

“It’s exciting and really encouraging to see youth stand up for what they believe in and put forward action plans. I hope councils listen and heed what they have to say.”

ALSO READ: Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

Recently, North Saanich council, including Pearson, voted to support the CRD’s Farmland Trust. Despite some established farmers’ reservations, Pearson says “the market is changing and consumer needs are changing.”

She supports helping local farmers access the big grocery stores and public institutions, and wants agriculture to be profitable for newcomers and established farmers alike. But Pearson also says the commercial landscape has changed and more collective organization and dynamic practices, such as connecting with consumers through social media, are needed. She hopes the CRD’s Farmland Trust will provide a focus for these issues, and play a role in giving farmers some of the support they need.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak appreciates the efforts of residents and business owners who took part in the VicPD community survey. The questionnaire saw a combined nearly 1,000 respondents from Victoria and Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD survey says: overall satisfaction positive, accountability needs work

Respondents feel safe during day, not so much at night; more police presence would help

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

A crowd gathers at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights in Nova Scotia

Central Saanich demonstration interrupts Friday afternoon traffic

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read