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Each incumbent mayor in Greater Victoria (of which there are 13) have been given an opportunity to share with Victoria Sports News website visitors, their answers to a uniform set of questions related to sport and recreation in their municipality and throughout Greater Victoria.
Greater Victoria refers to the usual communities that make up the “city”: Sooke, Metchosin, Colwood, Langford, Esquimalt, Highlands, View Royal, Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney, Victoria and Oak Bay.
Greater Victoria is considered a very active community where the people have a very high standard of physical activity in comparison to other cities around North America. In regards to perspectives on recreation, health, fitness, sports, alternative transportation and green initiatives, not everyone is on the exact same page. Below Highlands Mayor Ken Williams answers questions about sport and recreation in her community.
The Questions and the Answers – Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor
VSN: There are several parks in Greater Victoria, Beacon Hill (and the BHP friends society) comes to mind as the most robust. Some have bylaw(s) that discriminate against commercial activity from taking place within the park boundary. Commercial activity can include hanging a sponsor sign (let’s be real here). This often prevents sporting events from taking place in those parks.
What is your opinion on the nature of the bylaw(s) in regards to their effect on your resident’s or community’s ability to host sporting events? Do you have plans to visit preventative-like bylaws and seek to change them?
Mayor Ryan Windsor: Central Saanich has had no issue with sponsor banners in Centennial Park which has served as our main recreation park. I cannot see any need to change our current approach allowing these sponsorship banners showing support for local youth sports initiatives from our community.
VSN: What are your plans for infrastructure improvements related to, recreational facilities, playgrounds, ballparks, access to the outdoors for the challenged and civic events?
Ryan Windsor: We continue to work with various sporting activity groups to support and find opportunities for infrastructure, whether it be with local lacrosse, little league and extreme fastball groups for an improved batting cage or multi-purpose facility as well as climbing sports at the world-class climbing gym attached to Stelly’s Secondary school just to name a few.
VSN: What is your general opinion on Greater Victoria hosting major games such as Commonwealth Games or Pan Am Games?
Ryan Windsor: I support cost-effective approaches that support local sports and maximizes the benefit while managing the communities investments in all types of local infrastructure on behalf of our ratepayers.
VSN: With Greater Victoria’s beautiful sport and recreation-friendly environment, how can the area municipal leaders work together to bring in more sport and recreation tourism? What initiatives may you currently be undertaking?
Ryan Windsor: I believe the Capital Regional District with all areas participating on the board is the best way to enhance and encourage shared services and support for sport and recreation tourism. The World Youth Climbing Championships are/were held in Central Saanich this year welcoming athletes and their families from all over the world to our region.
VSN: For the grassroots level sports to have something to strive towards, keeping the top-rung teams in the market is important. Transportation on and off the island is difficult for island teams at all levels, as well as teams that visit the island. Are there efforts to lobby BC Ferries to better accommodate the cost-restrictive ferry fees? Is there anything you would do or endorse in such an effort?
Ryan Windsor: BC Ferries should support access but that decision does rest with them and we are limited to advocacy, which I support.
VSN: Would you challenge area mayors and councillors and candidates in the potential, Victoria Sports News Mayor’s Pickleball Tournament?
Who would you take from your council as a teammate; it would be a doubles tourney. And which mayor or candidate would you like to beat the most?
Ryan Windsor: I challenge Mayor Price from Sidney and would provide Councillor Paltiel as my teammate with the alternate choices being Councillor Graham and Councillor Jensen.