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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 – Sidney Mayor Steve Price
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 Steve Price: I feel that Sidney’s parks use bylaw is well balanced and makes the most of our public parks ensuring they are accessible to all residents. We have a number of sporting events that take place in our parks. For examples, the Tour de Victoria starts a leg of the ride in Beacon Park and the Sidney 10K Run starts and finishes in the park. Sidney has also been a part of the long-running Bazan Bay 5k road race which is part of the Island Race Series.
VSN: What are your plans for infrastructure improvements related to, recreational facilities, playgrounds, ballparks, access to the outdoors for the challenged and civic events?
Steve Price: Sidney recently completed a comprehensive Parks Master Plan that includes many recommendations relating to upgrades of our parks and parks infrastructure. The full plan can be found on the Town’s Website.
Last year, we opened a new state of the art Skateboard Park along the waterfront in Tulista Park. This has been a huge success with the local youth and is consistently busy. We have plans to enhance the skatepark with more trees, a drinking fountain, bike rack, benches, picnic shelter, etc. It is located in an area of the community that also has a playground, water spray park, basketball court and soccer field. This neighbourhood has become a real family, recreation centre. There are plans to add to the area with an outdoor volleyball court(s).
VSN: What is your general opinion on Greater Victoria hosting major games such as Commonwealth Games or Pan Am Games?
Steve Price: Sidney supported the Commonwealth Games application and I’m disappointed it didn’t go through. These kinds of sporting events can be huge economic drivers for a region, both for local business and attracting new business and development.
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?
Steve Price: In general, I feel that the area’s municipalities already work well together in this regard. All the big events are supported locally and draw volunteers from throughout the region.
We continually support the Victoria 70.3 Triathlon race as a portion of the bike course runs through Sidney.
Currently, Sidney is working on obtaining the 2018 National Paddle Board Championships. It is anticipated that the event will attract people from around the world. We are also working with the Bid Committee to hold the 2018 World Coastal Rowing Championships in October in Sidney’s Tulista Park and we are working on bringing a Skateboard competition to town.
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?
Steve Price: We are always looking for ways to improve transportation in our area. For example, Sidney has been an advocate for a passenger ferry service between Sidney and the Gulf Islands. Therefore, I would be open to working with other municipalities to encourage BC Ferries to consider a special rate for sports teams.
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?
Steve Price: My teammate would be Councillor Mervyn Lougher-Goodey as he is an avid tennis player so my chances would be better.
As Sidney Mayor and Council were the 2017 Chamber of Commerce Bocce Ball champion’s, we fully expect to reign supreme in Pickleball as well. And Ryan Windsor is the person I want to beat the most.