Gord Newton

Running for Central Saanich Councillor


What would be your highest priorities in the next four years to reduce the total energy use and emissions from transportation?

Increase public transit for Brentwood Bay and Saanichton as well as the neighbouring First Nations. People will use transit if it is reliable, and convenient so I would like Central Saanich to work with BC Transit to expand services to our community and ensure there is sufficient capacity for the current users. Look into alternate fuels sources for municipal vehicles such as bio diesel or electric, assuming they aren’t cost prohibitive. Further diversification of our village centres when reviewing developments to allow for a variety of services for residents to reduce the necessity for car travel.

Over the next 4 years, would you support increasing the space for walking, biking, and public transit and reducing that for private motor vehicles in your community? How would you do that?

I would like to expand cycling, walking and multi use trails where land is available to do so. Working with new developments to encourage adding paths or trails to connect to other parts of the community. Given the rural nature of our community I am not in favour of reducing space for private vehicles.

Would you actively encourage the provincial government to prioritize public transit, walking and biking infrastructure over roadway expansion projects such as the proposed interchanges on the Pat Bay Highway?

We need a comprehensive plan for the Pat Bay highway and making commuting and travel safe for all. I am in favour of Central Saanich (and all the peninsula) getting safe access off the Pat Bay highway. Road safety is becoming more and more important and the first step in improving safety is where the majority of incidents happen, on the Pat Bay. That being said these are connected and you can improve both, these aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Do you support making walking safer and more enjoyable in Central Saanich?

Yes. We live in a beautiful place and I would also encourage people to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds and even smells of our community.

What specific policies, projects and expenditures would you support in the next four years to make walking safer and more pleasant in Central Saanich?

Ensuring existing trails are maintained for all ages to use. Expand multi-use trails where possible. Identify the critical and most dangerous sections of the community from a walking perspective and ensuring resources are available to implement road safety improvements (curbs, additional lighting, sidewalks, etc.) Work with the Central Saanich Police Services to educate and improve enforcement in critical areas.

Do you support building a community-wide network of all ages and abilities (“AAA”) bike routes in the next four years?

In areas where we can, I do support expanding AAA bike routes in Central Saanich. I am not in favour of creating divided bike lanes in our community like what has been done in downtown Victoria.

Do you support upgrading Lochside Dr to a AAA bikeway?

I do support improving Lochside Dr for all users. This is an extremely well used bikeway, walk way, jogging route but it is also a local road for residents and farmers. We should ensure all users are able to continue to use this safely.

Would you support completing the 24/7 bus lanes along the Douglas Street/Highway 1 corridor, as well as along other routes such as the Pat Bay Highway as a high priority for municipalities and the BC government in the next four years?

Yes. I think as the peninsula’s population grows additional transit services will be needed not just dedicated bus lanes. If there is reliable, convenient and consistent transit services more and more people will switch to transit as an option.

Would you support keeping the E&N railway as a railway and actively campaign for electrified passenger and freight services?

As I am seeking a seat in Central Saanich I believe this is outside my mandate. That being said, if there is a private company willing to take this on I would support it. I would not be in favour of something publicly funded.

Would you support and actively campaign for street-level electrified rapid transit in the greater Victoria region? If so, along what routes?

I would like to see better and improved public transit for Central Saanich before I could look at a project of this magnitude.

In the next four years, would you support removing the requirements for off-street vehicle parking from new and infill developments?

I think community engagement for any and all new developments is vital. Parking is continually an issue and I would encourage any development to ensure adequate parking for residents and visitors.

In the next four years, how, would you activate and bring more people into public spaces within your municipality, including sidewalks, public squares, streets and parks?

Encourage more community events and promote our great parks as a place for events, celebrations and gatherings. We have several wonderful community events in our parks around Central Saanich already and they are wonderful places for our communities to get together.

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