Friday, September 28, 2012

Rest in Peace Bob Gillespie

Bob Gillespie, November 2011
Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Bob Gillespie is gone.

He died earlier this month of natural causes, with loved ones at his side. Bob was admired by many in the community and this is a great loss for Saanich.

Bob worked as an electrician for 28 years. In 1988 he began his journey into civic politics. He attended many council meetings and decided to run in 1990. After 3 recounts, he was elected by 28 votes.

Bob served 18 years as a Saanich Councilor. During all of this time he served on the water board and spearheaded major changes. Bob was pivotal in raising the Sooke dam. He went on to serve as Deputy Chair of what became CRD Water.

One of his accomplishments was getting a reduced water rate for agriculture. This is a great help to farmers to this day and he will be remembered as a champion of local agriculture.

Accountability was a big issue for Bob. He fought successfully for the direct election of Saanich’s CRD Directors and thus contributed to the strengthening of democracy in our region. Saanich became the first municipality under the Charter to give citizens a direct choice of regional district directors. Victoria and other municipalities now follow the Saanich model.

Even after he retired from council, he stayed active in politics. Affordable housing and rethinking the sewer system were at the top on his list.

Bob made an enduring contribution to Saanich and he will be deeply missed. His family has requested privacy at this time.


There will be a memorial service for Bob Gillespie at 2pm on Friday, Oct 12 at the Nazarene Church, 4277 Quadra.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Welcome Fall and All It Offers

Over the past few weeks I have been traveling quite a bit as BC's Agriculture Critic.  It's a hard time to be away from home because my garden is producing so much to eat and I am not around to harvest and preserve.  Food is an extremely large part of my life.  It inspires me to do my job and it brings me incredible pleasure.
I feel grateful that I can combine my love for food with what I do for a living.
As I travel the province and leave my garden behind, I have the great pleasure of visiting farmers markets.  Just being around the growers feeds my soul and as a bonus I am able to sample the incredible products our BC growers are producing.
The photo above was taken at the Salt Spring Farmers Market.  I have been fortunate to buy garlic from many parts of BC but on Saturday I purchased some garlic braids from Bright Farm.  Charlie Eagle and his daughter Bree are exquisite growers and their garlic lasts for months and months.  It's really delicious!

The photo above is myself and Michael Abelman of Foxglove Farms.  Michael has been an inspiration for organic farmers for years and it was a pleasure to catch him at the market.
You can find almost anything you want at our farmers markets at this time of year.  For fresh eating or for the root cellar, it's all here!
Here is a link to find any market in BC:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Connecting DOTS

Dear Constituents,

An important event is happening this Saturday, September 8th on the lawn of the Legislative Assembly.

Last September, Jean Oliver came into my office looking for support and that relationship grew into my office helping to organize this rally. Based on a model from New Brunswick, Jean inspired hundreds of people to stand hand-in-hand between the Psychiatric Emergency Services and the Legislative Assembly.

This year, the Society for the Development Of Treatment Services for Mental Health (DOTS) is doing it again!

Starting at 10am on the lawn of the Legislative Assembly, DOTS hope that enough people will attend to be able to form a human chain between the decision makers and the services needed by so many people.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Medals for Saanich South!

Dear Saanich South,

This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne of England.

In commemoration, the Governor General is awarding sixty thousand Diamond Jubilee Medals.

A range of institutions and offices are helping to select recipients all year long.

Each Member of the Legislative Assembly of BC has been given the privilege to select four individuals in his or her constituency to receive the award.

For my part, I've decided to invite all the Community Associations in Saanich South to select one person to participate in a committee that will decide who receives the medal. In this way, it will be those actively volunteering at the local level that will decide who is to receive this honour.

To be eligible for the Diamond Jubilee Medal, a person must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. He or she must "have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada".