I have been a science teacher at Parkland Secondary for 17 years. For the last 10 we have had the looming crisis of declining enrolment. To combat low enrolment, one in five students at Parkland is now an international student.
The threat of Sidney and North Saanich losing their only high school may come to fruition within a few years. Because of low enrollment due partially that affordable housing in the Sidney/North Saanich area is non-existent and the next pandemic virus could shut the international program down in a heart beat.
I am absolutely astounded at the notion that Sandown Raceway is planned to become commercial development with no thought to having modest town homes or small affordable detached housing options included. Already the airport and industrial enterprises on the Peninsula have repeatedly told councils that if their employees cannot find housing, they will move their businesses elsewhere like Langford. Some already have. They take their families and money with them.
If people have nowhere to live out here, including myself, where does the short-sighted, deaf councils think the customer base and employees are going to come from?
Sidney and North Saanich have great grocery stores, banks, pharmacies and hardware stores already. The restaurants are amazing. Why ask for more of the same to dilute the high quality of services already out here?
I am very blessed to work here as long as I have. I implore all those to speak up for more housing for the Peninsula to ensure the community survives as a whole living entity for all age groups, not just as the road to the ferry/ airport or communal trash can for box stores.