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Gardner to run for mayor

Councillor announces candidacy one week after Sutherland said he won't seek re-election



About a week after Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland announced he would not seek reelection in November, Councillor Greg Gardner has declared his candidacy.

“I am excited about the prospect of leading the community at this exciting and challenging time,” said Gardner in a press bulletin released Wednesday. “I firmly believe that we live in one of the best places in the world and presently we are facing many important issues including rapid growth, budget constraints, environmental threats, Garibaldi at Squamish, 2010 Olympic Games, employment land erosion and urban sprawl. I was elected as councillor two years ago on a platform of sustainable, balanced growth and that remains my vision and focus for the community.”

Speculation surrounding Gardner’s intentions has been swirling for some time. A UBC graduate, Gardner practiced law in Vancouver until 1994, when he moved to Squamish. In addition to his position on council, he runs a car dealership just north of the business park.


Red Point goes to public hearing

Kingswood Properties Limited will get the chance to present its plans for a 200-plus housing development separate from the rest of the planning strategy tooled for the Upper Blind Channel, which is part of the downtown waterfront.

Councilor Raj Kahlon put the motion forward during Tuesday’s strategy session. It was then affirmed during regular council that evening.

“I understand this is being put forward at the request of the developer, and that’s why it’s on the agenda,” said Councilor Greg Gardner during the regular session.

Mayor Ian Sutherland refuted that, saying it was a council-driven decision.

The development, called Red Point, has been twisting in the bureaucratic breeze for years. Recently, there have been stakeholder discussions on planning for the whole area. According to Catherine Rockandel of Rockandel and Associates, a consultant retained by the district, that meeting was characterized by distrust.

Some councilors noted that the planning process is at odds with principles set out in the Official Community Plan. After the Highway 99 overhaul is finished, a cement barrier will travel the centre of the road at that section, and so access issues also jumped to the fore.