Ground-breaking Ceremony for the new Sidney Community Safety Building. Left to right: Mayor Steve Price, Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen and VAA President and CEO Geoff Dickson (Town of Sidney)

It was the first surprising result of the night – former Sidney Mayor Steve Price conceded early on after a near blowout by former challenger and new Mayor-elect, Cliff McNeil-Smith.

This wasn’t the first time McNeil-Smith has faced off against former Mayor Steve Price, as he had lost in the previous Mayoral race back in 2014, by only a small margin. That said, clearly minds have been changed.

In speaking with Victoria Buzz shortly after conceding, former Mayor Price spoke of the very big numbers McNeil-Smith walked away with, saying that he’ll actually be sending an appeal to BC Elections for an investigation. “The numbers just don’t add up” Price declared, though if BC Elections gives the McNeil-Smith campaign the green-light on the numbers, that’ll be good enough for him.

When pressed, Price acknowledged that there was nothing he could have done better with his campaign – having started a year and a half ago, as well as having a developed and strong online presence.

That said, when 80% of the vote goes to your opponent, they’ve clearly tapped into something.

McNeil-Smith did just that. Vocal on hot-topic issues like affordable housing for families and seniors (who account for close to half of Sidney’s population) and his aim to be more collaborative throughout government, in part with Town Hall meetings.

Councillors

This was a great time to running for Sidney Council, as three of the incumbents did not run for re-election, allowing some fresh ideas and personalities to be brought to the table.

Sara Duncan made strong focus on popular issues such as (of course) affordable housing, by way of smaller developers, community trust, and a plan to protect and build Sidney’s future.

Returning for her 2nd term, Barbara Fallot has proven herself an important and valued member of the Sidney council. Passionate about devising an Official Community Plan, Fallot also is planning to address climate change and the impact it’s expected to have Sidney-by-the-Sea.

New to the Council, Scott Garnett plans to address the affordable housing shortage, as well as the Doctor crisis. Whether he’ll be able to entice new Doctors to Sidney-by-the-Sea remains to be seen, but he’s clearly optimistic and has the confidence of the community.

Also joining Sidney council is Terri O’Keeffe. She looks to support and develop the local business community in Sidney, collaborating with neighbouring municipalities on issues such as housing and the doctor shortage crisis.

New to the council is Chad Rintoul who struck a chord with Sidney residents. He wants to slow down the already approved high density developments in the seaside town and deal with the surrounding infrastructure such as parking. He has said that Sidney needs “to catch it’s breath.”

Peter Wainwright clearly made the right impression with Sidney voters to be asked back to council. He has made a point to look at Council trust, as well as parking bylaws, and is looking at new ways to involve the community in council decisions.

A total of 4,692 votes were cast in Sidney out of an estimated 9,183 eligible voters in the municipality.