Vision WestShore: Looking to the Future

July 5, 2016

WEST SHORE – On June 2, the WestShore Chamber of Commerce held VISION WestShore at Olympic View Golf Club. Sponsored by Prosperity Business Centre, View Royal Casino, Coastal Offices and Signs of the Times, the evening provided signature “Prosperitini” cocktails, the fine dining Olympic View is famous for, and networking around the dessert bar.

However, the main reason the 120 guests gathered was for none of these things, but rather to hear a panel discussion bringing together five WestShore mayors. The panellists were Mayor Carol Hamilton of the City of Colwood, Mayor Ken Williams from the District of the Highlands, City of Langford Mayor Stewart Young, District of Metchosin Mayor John Ranns and Graham Hill, retired mayor of the Town of View Royal. Mayor David Screech of View Royal was unable to attend, and Graham Hill kindly offered to bring his perspective on View Royal in Mayor Screech’s absence.

If you weren’t there you missed out, because while the conversation went on for about two hours it didn’t drag and was by times insightful, irreverent, thoughtful, useful and witty. The WestShore Chamber had gone out to the public in advance asking for questions to put to the Mayors, and in addition questions were collected on the night and there were also questions from the floor.

Some familiar topics came up, such as transportation, sewage treatment and amalgamation, as well as some topics typically discussed less in the WestShore such as “What is your position on medical marijuana dispensaries?” and “How are the 13 municipalities working together across the region?”

The more serious issues were interspersed by lighter ones which gave the audience a chance to learn more about the people who carried the chains of office. And my favourite question of the night was the one that concluded the panel discussion: “Tell us something you admire about the panellist sitting next to you.” Throughout the evening’s discussion you got the sense of the respect and camaraderie that existed amongst panel members, and this final discussion really brought it home.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the panellists, brilliantly moderated by Christine Scott. It was a rare privilege to have five of you in a room, speaking together about the future, and I came away feeling immensely proud to be a part of the WestShore and the role it has to play in the prosperity of the region.

For more information on the WestShore Chamber of Commerce, please go to

– Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or

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