Ian Jessop wants to eliminate the divisive tone that has existed on council over the past term. (Photo submitted)

Longtime broadcaster joins race for Saanich council

Ian Jessop says he wants to bring support to Mayor Richard Atwell around council table

He’s been covering and involved in politics for decades, and now Ian Jessop wants to bring that experience to Saanich council.

Jessop says he wants to bring a collaborative approach to dealing with issues such as housing, transportation and business investment.

“In order to deal with the increase in population, what do we need to do in Saanich? I don’t have the answer, but a collective group of people discussing this issue may come up with some very interesting answers,” said the 71-year-old longtime broadcaster, legislative reporter and former press secretary to Premier Bill Vander Zalm.

“There has to be a discussion, and the discussion has to involve developers, it has to involve the community and it has to involve the young people too. Many of them can’t afford a house with a picket fence, and talking to them, many of them don’t want that.”

Jessop says he’s seeking a seat on council to support Mayor Richard Atwell, who he feels has found himself at odds with the rest of council.

“This term there’s been a divisive tone on council. I think the initiatives that have been brought forward by the mayor have been stymied by opponents on council who still favour the previous regime.”

He points to the Watkiss Way sewage treatment proposal that council prevented from going to CRD for consideration, as well as the Spyware scandal that found the municipality was improperly monitoring the mayor’s and other computers at City Hall.

“I think there still is pushback by senior management in the municipality against Richard Atwell’s leadership,” said Jessop.

In calling for more openness and transparency, he was also critical of the number of issues dealt with in-camera by council.

“I would like to see more debate in public about issues that council sometimes hide in private,” said Jessop, adding that council seems to use in-camera sessions to “get their stories straight” in order to promote a unified front.

He says the lack of public access has been amplified by the cuts to many media companies, pointing out that many news outlets used to cover Saanich council meetings.

“Now, it’s just the Saanich News covering Saanich and the rest of the media only do it when a controversial issue comes forward.”

While Jessop lives in Victoria, he doesn’t feel that should be an issue that concerns voters.

“Considering Marianne Alto, Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Margaret Lucas are members of Victoria council and live outside the municipality, I don’t think it’s an issue,” said Jessop, who was quick to answer why he isn’t running in Victoria.

“Victoria is a gong show,” he said with a hearty laugh. “It’s a bigger gong show than Saanich, I’ll tell you that.

“The bottom line is a better community for everyone. I would like to see Saanich strive to become the most efficient, cost-effective municipality in British Columbia.”

Jessop joins Kathleen Burton, Nathalie Chambers, Rebecca Mersereau, Ned Taylor, Zac de Vries and Teale Phelps-Bondaroff in challenging incumbents Colin Plant, Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff and Karen Harper for a seat on council. Coun. Fred Haynes is challenging Atwell in the race for mayor, while Dean Murdock, Leif Wergeland and Vicki Sanders have announced they will not seek re-election.

editor@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Roadside barriers, amphibian fencing to be installed along Prospect Lake Road

Crews on-site 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., traffic impacts expected through September

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

Eighteen unattended cannabis plants discovered near Saanich trail

Plants cannot legally be grown in public spaces

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read