for North Saanich
My goal is to ensure that North Saanich is welcoming and inclusive of everyone in our community, including our young and aging population.
We will achieve this by supporting sensitive infill and by creating housing options that meet the immediate and future needs of the community as a whole.
We will work collaboratively with all community members in regard to how our neighborhood will change as our community grows.
We will incorporate growth into planning for the future, in order to ensure our ALR land is always protected.
Meet Majid Varasteh
My name is Majid Varasteh. I immigrated to Canada in early 1986 and lived on our beautiful Island for over twenty years and last 2 years have been in North Saanich where my wife and I built a new home together.
I worked in the construction industry from labourer to journeyman carpenter, and builder. I lived in Toronto for 10 years when I first came to Canada and experienced firsthand the importance of affordable and attainable housing and diverse and inclusive communities. I then moved to Vancouver and shortly thereafter was certified to be a foster parent. I specialized in foster care for high-risk youths for about 20 years, five years in Vancouver, and 15 years on Vancouver Island. This experience was very rewarding and difficult at the same time. I was able to cultivate my skills as a good listener and at the same time hold very strong boundaries for the youths, for their safety. I believe it is very important to understand people’s individual needs while considering my role as a foster parent and my primary responsibility to guide, teach and keep the youths safe.
I have also been a martial arts practitioner and taught in a studio that I owned for 10 years. During my time as a teacher, I was able to recognize the importance of teaching and being a role model for many of the students who had challenges in their personal lives. I tried to encourage my students who included children and persons with disabilities, to find their courage and increase their self- confidence through martial arts. This was also a very rewarding time of my life as I helped many of my students overcome personal problems and feel good about themselves.
I have lived and worked in many different communities across Canada, from Baffin Island in Eastern Canada to Northern Yukon and I recognized that each community has its concerns based on its location, resources, culture, and population. As I worked with the people in these communities, I prioritized learning about their community concerns. I believe the same can be said for North Saanich, which is comprised of many different communities such as Deep Cove, Lands End, the Southeast Quadrant, Terraces, Dean Park, etc. Each area of North Saanich has its concerns based on the area they live. As a councilman, I would ensure everyone has a voice and every area of North Saanich should be treated with equal attention and importance. Living and working in different areas of Canada I learned one major common issue that everyone, regardless of the community they live in, was finding a place to call home. Attainable housing helps with the economy of the area, reduces greenhouse gas effects caused by commuting from outside, more affordable communities, and enables local agriculture to grow without losing farmland. Our farmers need employees to help them work their farms, we need to be concerned about how we can attract and retain young people to work in North Saanich, especially in the farming industry.
I am aware that a large number of employees, that work for various places such as the Victoria International Airport, the Swartz Bay Ferry terminal, and industrial businesses surrounding the airport (not to mention the massive Amazon Warehouse) commute into North Saanich from outlying more affordable areas in the Greater Victoria Region. If we truly care about our environment and the air we breathe, then housing options ought to be a priority for Council, and the NIMBYs need to go. The lack of housing not only affects the air we breathe but also impacts our health care system. We are fortunate to have the Saanich Peninsula Hospital at our doorstep, however, we cannot house medical staff such as nurses and doctors, because of the housing shortage. The shortage is impacting us now, and the next time we attempt to use the medical system, or to get into the Emergency Room, In our family, we have a nursing student, a physiotherapist, and a law enforcement/Corrections officer who are planning to leave the Greater Victoria area and North Saanich where they currently live because they cannot afford to buy and there are no rental options. We need our young people to stay.
The skills that I have acquired from my personal experiences, as well as my professional experiences, are what I will bring to the District of North Saanich as a Councilman. I will consider each application and request with an open mind, without bias, as a good listener, respecting people for who they are and what their needs are. I believe as a council person we are elected by the people and therefore our role is to serve the people with respect, honesty, and transparency always.
It’s time to act together.
Vote on Oct 15th 2022.