Highlights from regular Council meetings provide a brief summary of some items of broad public interest. The summary is not inclusive of all agenda items. Please refer to www.sidney.ca for the full agenda, minutes, and webcast.
Annual community events set for possible return in 2022
Council approved various road closures and the use of Town property to support community events that have not taken place in Sidney since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Events include Sidney Days with the Canada Day Parade, Summer Sound Concert Series, Treat Street on Halloween, Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade, and the Polar Bear Swim on News Years Day, all organized by Peninsula Celebrations Society. Council also approved road closures to support the Bazan Bay 5km Road Race in Sidney which is organized by the Team West Coast Triathlon Club and is marking its 25th year.
All of the approvals are subject to conditions, including compliance with provincial health guidelines at the time.
Staff Report re: 5KM Bazan Bay Race
Staff Report re: Peninsula Celebrations Society Annual Events
Council moves to restrict use of family fireworks near Environmentally Sensitive Areas
In response to community concerns about the possible noise impact of Halloween fireworks on wildlife, Council has directed staff to revise the existing Fireworks Bylaw to prohibit fireworks in and near the designated Environmentally Sensitive Areas of Roberts Bay and Reay Creek. Each year, the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department reviews applications for Family Fireworks Display Permits for Halloween night. The updated bylaw will prevent permits from being issued in and near these environmentally sensitive areas. The bylaw will not impact public fireworks displays such as Sidney’s Canada Day display.
Lightly-used ladder truck to be purchased for Sidney Volunteer Fire Department
Council approved the purchase of a used ladder truck for the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department replacing the current ladder truck that was purchased in 2002 and is now nearing its replacement date. Purchasing the lightly used truck from the United States at a cost of approximately $1.2 to $1.3 million in Canadian currency after minor modifications have been made, represents a savings of over $1 million compared to the purchase of a new ladder truck.
Year-end report from RCMP highlights growing impact of scams on community members
As part of an annual report on local crime statistics from the North Saanich/Sidney RCMP Detachment, Staff Sergeant Wayne Conley drew attention to the rising impact of fraud on community members. He noted that in 2021 reported losses due to scams in Sidney and North Saanich increased 73% over 2020 figures, with a total reported loss of $664,021. Trends for 2022 continue to be on an upwards trajectory. To help residents better protect themselves from fraud, the RCMP will be working with the Town of Sidney and District of North Saanich on an awareness campaign in March, which is recognized nationally as Fraud Prevention Month. Staff Sgt. Conley noted in his presentation that local scams have been primarily occurring by phone and email, with perpetrators often pulling information from personal social media accounts to create targeted scams that are harder to detect.
RCMP Quarterly and Year End Report
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith