Saanich entrepreneur John Wilson says he won’t run in the 2018 municipal election, but might in the future. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Saanich entrepreneur John Wilson says he won’t run in 2018

A Saanich entrepreneur has ruled out running in the 2018 municipal election, but won’t close the door on future runs.

“I’m saying no, but I’m not saying never,” said John Wilson, president, chief executive and principal owner of the Wilson’s Group of Companies. “It just don’t make sense at this stage in my career right now to run. But I’m certainly willing to put my name forward in the future.”

Wilson, who holds a long list of professional awards and currently serves as vice-president of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, made these comments in an interview in which he discussed the upcoming municipal election and budget talks among other issues.

“I’d love to [run], and I have been asked in both Saanich and Victoria by business-people to run for various positions,” he said. “At this point in my career, our company is at a point, where it still needs me.”

This said, Wilson believe council would benefit from fresh views.

“I think we have some staleness on council, not just Saanich,” he said. “I know Mayor [Richard] Atwell has talked about a little bit of a change on council in Saanich. That can be easily fixed.”

The remedy? Term limits that would limit councillors to two four-year-terms.

“Your family is your life, your job is your income, and being a councillor or in municipal politics, should be your community service,” he said. “And it has turned into peoples’ jobs. We have to get away from that.”

Wilson believes that the professionalization of politics has changed political decision making, with personal political calculations trumping community interests, said Wilson, who would also like to see more entrepreneurial perspectives.

“The politicians, who are in place, I don’t think they are bad people,” he said. “I think their heart is in the right place. There is some staleness. The job has become so enormous, that there are may be some people, who don’t have the aptitude or skill set to make multi-million dollar decisions that they need to make.”

Wilson stressed he does not want to see a council full of entrepreneurs. “I’m not saying that we all need business people,” he said. “But we need a little bit more that view point and skill set to help with some of the things I just mentioned.”

They include among other housing, transportation, governance and public safety.

Wilson — who has in the past criticized Saanich for its approach towards affordable housing — said council has taken some positive steps towards addressing the issue, pointing towards Saanich’s decision to study garden suites.

Garden suites are detached dwellings found in backyards of single-family homes. While they tend to be at the “higher end of the housing affordability spectrum,” they expand “housing choice, offer potential for ground-oriented family housing within established neighbourhoods, and provide other social benefits such as the opportunity to age-in-place,” said Pam Hartling, planner, in a memo to council, when Saanich approved the initiative.

He also praised Saanich’s leadership on issues such as amalgamation and the creation of a regional police force.

Wilson would also like to see municipalities including Saanich improve public safety. “Victoria has more of a concern around safety than Saanich, but I do feel it flowing into our community as well,” he said.

Wilson here also speaks from personal experience.

“One of our vehicles got stolen right off our property last week,” he said. “It was found downtown with a guy sleeping in it.”

Just Posted

Controlled blasting starting tonight at CFB Esquimalt

Residents may hear whistles and blasts weekly between now and Oct. 1

Metchosin construction site closed for police investigation

Closure believed to be linked to something found at DND site

New 84-unit seniors housing in Saanich constructed to Built Green standards

Mount Doug Manor an example of Built Green on a big scale

UPDATED: Bail conditions released for Esquimalt man facing multiple sexual assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland won’t pull herself off of case.

Complaint coming about cattle prod use at B.C. rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

RCMP cleared after woman fatally overdoses on fentanyl

Charges not recommended after IIO says woman appears to have brought fentanyl into her cell

Most Read