A new voice for Oak Bay residents

It is time to build a greener, safer Oak Bay

A fresh perspective is needed this coming November, one to take Oak Bay into the next twenty years while the world changes. We live in a beautiful green city and we should keep it that way. We need new approaches to everything from transportation to food production to community building.

It is time the bike lanes stopped ending at the Oak Bay border. Greater Victoria has the highest percentages of biking, walking and transit use in the country, but that total can become much higher if only people had safe door to door bike routes, be it to school, work or just for pleasure. We also need to look beyond bike lanes, borrowing innovative ideas such as bike boulevards, bike sharing, and other ideas from many other communities.

For those that don’t or can’t drive, particularly seniors and children, we need to fix our unsafe, crumbling sidewalks which form real barriers to community life. We also need to think about transit beyond the large bus, adding a small circulator within Oak Bay to bring people to and from the Avenue, reinforcing it as the economic and social centre of Oak Bay.

Our aging infrastructure is a major challenge but it is also an incredible opportunity. Badly needed sewer work will allow us to explore using waste to generate heat and water, our crumbling sidewalks can now be widened, our roads can add bike lanes, roundabouts and all sorts of traffic calming infrastructure, keeping our streets safe for the next generation to play on.

Beyond transportation and infrastructure, we need to make Oak Bay truly green. A complete pesticide ban is needed to keep everyone, especially children, safe from the harmful effects of chemicals. We also need to encourage more local food production, food that not only tastes great and is good for the environment, it gets everybody thinking about where their food comes from and how it is grown.

Oak Bay also needs to be an inclusive place. Beyond just the legalisation of secondary suites, we need to look at building a mix of residential, to allow people from all ages to live here. This includes families just starting out, students getting their degree, and seniors who wish to downsize but don’t want to break the bonds of friendship that they have built up in the amazing community that is Oak Bay.

All of these require Oak Bay to be one that embraces and assists the small entrepreneur, be it a small shop owner or just a kid selling lemonade to passers-by. These people are the economic engine of our comunity and often the social heart of it as well.

On November 15, 2008, go to the polling station and vote Corey Burger, Green Party, for a safer, greener, cleaner Oak Bay! We have a chance to truly change the fabric of Oak Bay.

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