Mayors look to focus joint council meeting on Douglas Street transportation

Mayors of Saanich and Victoria hope meeting will help make headway on one of the biggest issues facing both municipalities.

The mayors of Saanich and Victoria hope their next joint council meeting will help their respective councils make headway on one of the biggest issues facing both municipalities this term.

Frank Leonard and Dean Fortin want transportation issues on the Douglas Street corridor to be a priority when both nine-member councils get together early next year.

“It’ll probably be a difficult discussion – it won’t be solved in two hours, but you have to take the first steps,” Leonard said.

Transportation on Douglas is one of the most important inter-jurisdictional issues that needs to be addressed, Fortin said. The meeting will improve communication between the municipalities’ staff.

“Both councils will have the benefit of understanding each other’s perspective, and it allows for discussion around the larger perspective to take place,” the Victoria mayor said. “Everything (will have to be) jointly co-ordinated; you won’t be able to stop and start things. So if we can set up preconditions, it will hopefully provide some comfort that (longer-term decisions) represent the will of both councils.”

The meeting is tentatively scheduled for the first week of February. It will likely be held at Saanich municipal hall.

The two councils first met in Victoria in September to discuss climate action planning and regional emergency planning.

kslavin@saanichnews.com