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Peninsula News Review Article “Talking the Talk”

Central Saanich Municipality No Comments »

Below is an article that was featured in the Saanich Peninsula News Review on March 21st regarding the Area 3 International Speech Contest that our club, the Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters, was proud to be hosting.


Talking the talk
By Christine van Reeuwyk - Peninsula News Review - March 21, 2008

A lot of yammering will lead to a regional champion or two at the library Tuesday. The librarian at the Sidney North Island Branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library will just have to deal with the noise as Toastmasters from across Greater Victoria gather for competition. Talking, after all, is the name of the game.

The Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters club #1288 hosts the Area 3 International Speech Contest on March 25. It’s called an international contest because that’s where winners wind up. Winners from the Area 3 region head to the divisional, those winners head to district competition, then regionals, then the world.

“You get to witness the beautiful art of public speaking,” said Sean McNulty, Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters president. “For me personally, what I find most interesting is the topics people speak on.”

He recalled a competitor once who gave a speech on an astrological event that happened around 500 BC, and described how it was recorded by different groups.

“I found that very interesting,” McNulty said. The facts, research and relaying of the speeches are what make it interesting, he explained.

“You get to see the most talented speakers, so you get some really interesting speeches, you get some really humorous speeches …” he said. Speaking techniques and gestures can also add to the drama of a speech.

“Sometimes you get some speeches you think would be very boring, but the way they present it can be very interesting,” McNulty said.

The contest is broken into two competitions, speech and evaluation.

The speech portion is what most might naturally associate with Toastmasters. The competitors carefully research and prepare a speech that’s five to seven minutes long.

“It can’t be about sex, politics and religion. We steer clear of those things at Toastmasters,” McNulty said with a laugh. The competence of the speaker is gauged through hand gestures, eye contact, vocal variety and pronunciation — which are all calculated by six judges.

For the evaluation competition a test speaker comes in and makes a speech. The competitors evaluate, using similar criteria to the speech competition.

The Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters club #1288 hosts the Area 3 International Speech Contest on March 25 at the Sidney North Saanich branch of the VIRL from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event is open to the public; tickets cost $5 at the door.



The Closing of West Corporation

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality 5 Comments »

West Corporations Central Saanich location being relocated to the USA is a huge loss to the local economy. 400+ jobs will be gone and local businesses stand to lose a lot of income.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. On March 11th, CFAX reported Mayor Jack Mar made the following statements, among others.

“As far as the impact on his (Mayor Jack Mar) municipality is concerned, it’s not a huge problem. In fact, he’s (Mayor Jack Mar) not sad to see it go”

“The tax is based on the assets of the building, and the building is still here. As far as I’m concerned, in a sense, it’s a good thing. People [have been] saying since west moved into here the traffic has increased probably about three times – especially in the Oldfield road area”

I will not turn this into a negative campaign but I must point out that myself and the current Mayor contrast greatly on our interpretation of this event.

There are 3 concerns I have with reading the Mayor’s statements.

First of all, I’m concerned with the just another day attitude in regards to 400+ people losing their jobs! This is serious business, and in no way, shape or form is it a good thing. Many people depended on their job at West to pay rent, feed themselves and take care of their health (West had medical and dental benefits).

Fortunately, we are in a job market where more employment is readily available. But getting another job is a timely process and this has no doubt put the employees who will be laid off in a tough position to make ends meet. The Mayor ought to have a greater understanding of this.

Second of all, I’m concerned with the way our current Mayor interprets the local economy. Yes, it’s true that the tax base for Central Saanich remains the same, and if you view the prosperity of a municipality strictly on City Halls income you’d agree with the Mayor that this isn’t a huge problem.

I disagree that a municipalities prosperity is based solely on City Halls income statement. I judge the municipalities prosperity on a combination of the residents, businesses and City Halls income statements. The fact is residents and businesses income statements have been effected in an extremely detrimental way by West closing. Local people have lost their jobs and local business have lost customers, especially the lunch customers. When you crunch the numbers, assuming half of the 400 people who work at West spend $10 per day on lunch, your looking at a $2000 loss in the local economy per business day due to this closure.

Thirdly and lastly, the Mayor points to the decreased traffic on Oldfield Road as a net benefit. I drive down Oldfield road just about every day and trust me, there is no traffic problem. He claims there has been reports of 600 cars in an hour driving down this road due to West Corporation.

Lets do a little math here. Around 400 people work at West. Even if everyone of them drove to work down Oldfield in their own car that would still leave us 200 cars short for that hour. Plus the fact is most people take the Pat Bay Highway and a large amount of people take the bus. If 600 cars did go down Oldfield in one hour, which I’ve yet to see, it wouldn’t all be due to West Corporation.

Now although a big reason why West Corporation ended up closing their doors is the high value of the Canadian dollar, one cannot over look the shortage of young labour out here on the Peninsula as being a cause of this unfortunate event. This shortage of young labour, the type who generally work in call centers, can be directly attributed to the lack of accommodation being built here in Central Saanich. If we were to build density into our village centers, we would provide housing that would be affordable to young people who could then live and work in our community. This is my #1 campaign platform and an initiative I plan on pushing forward if elected to the Mayor position.

In conclusion, I have the utmost respect for our current Mayor Jack Mar, but he and I have vastly different views not only on this event but the future of Central Saanich.

“Silent Majority” By The Peninsula News Review

Municipal, Central Saanich Municipality No Comments »

Thanks to Christine for a great, objective, well written article!



Sean McNulty Peninsula Review Story

Sean McNulty plans to knock on every door in the district

If you live in Central Saanich, expect to see Sean McNulty knocking on your door heading into election time. The 23-year-old plans to run what he’s calling a “silent majority tour” in his pitch to become mayor of the municipality this November.

“What we’re going to do is go knocking on every door in Central Saanich,” said McNulty, in his office overlooking Island View Golf Centre. “It’ll be very educational.”

After doing the math, he figures he’ll start five months before the election and hit up the more than 6,000 homes in the district.

“It will not only get more voters out but it will by far make me the best candidate for the job.”

McNulty launched his web site www.seanformayor.com last spring but didn’t launch an official campaign in an attempt to allow things to grow and swell on their own. The concept of the web site is to speak directly to residents, and establish a voting record by voicing his opinion on topics that come to council.

“They’re going to know more about Sean McNulty than they ever wanted to know,” he said.

Already he’s voiced his support for the Vantreight proposal to build homes on a rocky hill on the Vantreight Farms land — a development council didn’t support. McNulty has also stood by the proposed development adjacent to the Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa that is in the final stages before council.

Both proposals are in keeping with one of McNulty’s three platform themes.

It’s safe to say the Island View Golf Centre manager is unhappy with the status quo.

“I’m obviously not happy with the way things are being run,” he said. “I’m going to do something about it and put forward the platform and give people another option.”

McNulty says he’d approach with a pro- business attitude and embrace change; the platform he’s launched has three pillars, the first being the rejuvenation of village centres in the municipality. McNulty envisions Saanichton and Brentwood becoming more like Sidney and Cook Street village; they would have higher density, underground parking and more green space.

He admitted that the newly revitalized streetscape in Brentwood Bay, which appears to be attracting developers to upgrade existing buildings, is a step in that direction.

“The road took us 10 years,” he said. “At the current pace I’m going to be 80 years old.”

His second pillar revolves around the “fair and equal treatment of all citizens.”

McNulty feels there is some bias treatment within the district; a “club” mentality where certain people are pushed through with plans while others “don’t get to see the light of day.”

His third pillar centres on management of taxpayers’ money. McNulty favours putting community recreation centers before renovations of city hall, the fire department and public works areas. The current council opted out of funding an ongoing expansion at Panorama Recreation Centre but is currently looking at options for its municipal facilities.

He’s a proponent of amalgamating services in Sidney and North Saanich.

“Management roles are triplicate throughout the municipalities … one payroll department costs less than three,” he said. “I’d like to see it go to referendum.”

If everyone agrees, he said, the BC government has a program where they’ll come in and do a study on the feasibility of amalgamation.

“I’m not saying let’s ram it down everybody’s throat, but let’s look at it,” he said. “All I’m looking to get is more output for tax dollars … coming from a business background, I know how to do that.”

By Christine van Reeuwyk


Click link below to view the story on The Peninsula News Review Website


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