Thank you Oak Bay! . . . four more years . . .

I would like to thank the voters of Oak Bay for turning out in large numbers to support its candidates—43% of you! That’s an all-time high for Oak Bay.  You can view the detailed results of each candidate here.

I would like to particularly acknowledge the positive energies of all the candidates; win or lose, your commitment cannot be underestimated.

And of course I would like to thank those who listened to me, and generally put up with me as I haunted the corners of our wonderful municipality speaking to anyone who would listen, and listening to anyone who would speak.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank my very smart team for guiding, supporting, and encouraging me. You know who you are.

And finally, standing for political office can be daunting—we put ourselves on the line in many ways. I am so deeply grateful to my loving family and friends who give me the reason and inspiration to do this work.

Our community made it clear to me that they want to be uniquely positioned as a leader and a model to other communities that want to protect their environment and create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle—all of this managed in a fiscally responsible manner.

I look forward to serving this wonderful community.

Oak Bay Community Plan – Setting the Record Straight

As a result of a recent email circulated by the Oak Bay Watch, some residents have become anxious about what the new OCP might mean for Oak Bay in terms of land use. The notion that the goal of the Oak Bay Community Plan (OCP) is densification has been promoted. This is inaccurate and a distortion of the facts.

Similar to the previous OCP, the growth projection for Oak Bay (required by the Local Government Act) is 0.5%. This very low projection is well under that in other municipalities. Importantly, the growth rate is NOT a target; it is a projection. And densification is not the goal, but a means to provide housing options for 80% of Oak Bay respondents who said they want them.

Allowing for some minimal growth in the community provides opportunities to develop housing options primarily for two groups of people: seniors who wish to downsize but remain in the community and young adults. We heard that this is what residents want.

The OCP is the product of consultation with, and input from, over 4000 Oak Bay residents. That very high level of involvement is the guarantee that common values will shape the future face of this community.

It is not possible to “blanket the community with duplexes, or permit massive subdividing” as has been suggested by some municipal candidates. Such a strategy would not comply with the OCP and is not what the public wants. We must avoid fear mongering and polarization on issues. These tactics are not helpful as residents struggle with making the right choices on Election Day.

The OCP is solid. In the planning world, it has been described as “award winning” in so far it aptly balances the need for some change with provisions to preserve the unique character of Oak Bay in terms of neighbourhood ambience, streetscapes, heritage and retention of trees.

The OCP identifies other key strategies around sustainability, energy efficiencies, and climate change adaptation but clearly housing and land use are the most controversial. It is important that the residents elect a council that will respect the legacy of resident participation in land use decisions and planning.

I am fully committed to adhering to the principles and aspirations expressed by residents in the process of land use planning.

Tara Ney
City Councilor
District of Oak Bay

Re-elect Tara Ney

This will be the third term I will be asking for your support to represent you.

It has been an honor serving you over the past six years. As you read through this site I will share my views and many of the things I have been involved with in 2011-2014.

Much has been accomplished in the past term , but perhaps most significantly, Council completed the Official Community Plan (OCP). Thousands of you participated to make this a forward-looking document that will shape the vision of our future—a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable community; you have told us that you want to protect what we love and value, and plan for the future.

In this next term, Council will implement the OCP.  I would like to be a part of this process to ensure citizens’ voices are heard and that the vision of our future is realized.

On November 15, 2014, please come out to vote!