Claims made on the UDI’s new website about their liaison committees are not adding up.


The Urban Development Institute (UDI) Caught Misleading the Public Again – CRD Watch Homepage

The petition link:

The article can be read here: Through the Looking Glass: How Saanich Politicians and Staff are in the Process of Disabling the Local Area Plans Without the Public Realizing it. – CRD Watch Homepage

An Open Letter to the South Island Prosperity Partnership by Sasha Izard
March 18, 2024

Hello South Island Prosperity Partnership,

A 2022 Saanich Financial Report carried out by KPMG stated: “Total debt is projected to increase from $52 million in 2022 to $263 million in 2031, representing an average increase of 41% per year.” This figure has now ballooned to $424 million in 2033.

A recent Times Colonist article has the title: "Early budgeting in Saanich a 'shocker,' signals possible big tax jump"

In the article, a councillor is quoted as saying that “there are a lot of pressures on the budget including a growing population and more demand for municipal services in an inflationary environment."

In other words, the so-called growth your organization has been pushing has also been causing Saanich taxes to increase above the rate of the already staggering level of inflation. This will in turn lead to residents being squeezed out by high prices. The tax burden on Saanich is growing and the district is clearly not prospering, as the state of its finances and rapidly increasing debt levels reveals.

From your organization’s inception in 2016, thanks to municipal and continued municipal funding, which makes up the bulk of its revenues; the municipality of Saanich alone has paid you well over 1.25 million dollars.

What have the Saanich taxpayers received in return for all that money?

On their last annual payment, the City of Victoria paid SIPP $224,436. What has the City of Victoria’s taxpayers received in return for years of payments?

What have the other municipalities that are paying members of SIPP received in return for years of payments?

What have SIPP’s goals and targets been in 2016 and onward?

I have seen a lot of public relations material and lofty calls for growth generation, but few specifics.

I did notice one specific though in your 3-year target: “+$5M Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Private Sector investment into SIPP and SIPP-led and SIPP- supported projects.”

Please list the specifics of what SIPP hopes to achieve other than more public and private sector investment in SIPP and its offshoots.

1. Has SIPP accomplished those goals?

2. What are the timelines for those goals?

3. Has and does SIPP have a serious plan to achieve them?

4. I understand that SIPP recently created COAST and the IPC and that significant government funds are headed in those directions. Does SIPP need to remain a middle organization?

5. SIPP’s membership includes an international lobby for many of the biggest fossil fuel companies in North America, if not the world, known as the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, which has a so-called Energy Institute. How does SIPP reconcile that with its oft claimed dedication to climate protection?

6. Will COAST’s activities, including R&D, in any way help to facilitate future offshore oil and gas exploration/extraction and/or global shipping of oil, gas and/or forestry products?

7. SIPP’s membership also includes a number of big banks and SIPP says that it promotes increasing investment. How does it recognize global finance’s role in financing operations that contribute to the increasingly dire climate situation?

8. Among its membership is the UDI development and real estate lobby, which primarily promotes market-rate housing that is unaffordable. How does SIPP reconcile that and with its calls for more international investment and with its calls for housing affordability in the region? The housing prices have skyrocketed in Victoria since SIPP’s inception.

The costs to maintain SIPP have grown rapidly since then.

According to SIPP’s 2022-2023 “Rising to Resilience” report, the salaries and benefits to personnel are: $588,709. Add travel and accommodation ($23,000) to that figure and these combined expenses are more than half of the total Annual Budget for the organization and almost equivalent to the total amount the municipalities of the CRD pay in membership fees to SIPP each year. In 2022 alone this municipal membership fee total amounted to $632,714.

9. How many employees (full and part-time) did SIPP have in 2022? How many employees (full and part-time) does it have now at the time of writing (September 16, 2023)?

A June 22, 2023 article in the Times Colonist was titled: “On the Street: South Island Prosperity Partnership expands”.

In elaborating on the organization’s expansion, the article provides the following quote:

““We also added three executive directors and doubled our staff to steer that expansion and take advantage of new opportunities for the South Island region.”

10. Does this seem appropriate given how reliant SIPP is on municipal funding, given that we are in an inflationary environment, where taxes keep rising above that already excessive level of inflation?

I think the taxpayer deserves a thorough answer with specifics, rather than PR.

Thank you, I look forward to your answers,

Sasha Izard

“Thousands of spills are reported every year in B.C. – and the number has been going up. These spills can present potential harm to people and the environment.”

Managing Hazardous Spills in B.C. | Auditor General of British Columbia (

What looks like the Public's last chance to stop this will be at the third reading of the new OCP draft in April 2024.

This was the transcript of my presentation at council on Monday Feb 26, regarding the red-lined additions added to the second reading of new OCP draft:

"Quoting the General Policies section from the OCP Draft:

“7.2.3 Defer to the OCP where there is an inconsistency in policy direction between the OCP and a Local Area Plan or Action Plan”

“or Action Plan” is slipped in with red text.

First this whole paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. If there is inconsistency in policy direction between the OCP, a Local Area Plan, or Action Plan, then referring to the OCP is simply a redundancy. This is logic 101, as those plans are part of the OCP.

If these are all inconsistent, then updating the OCP is your chance to fix the inconsistencies.

Leaving inconsistencies in the OCP is bad governance. It is not acting in good faith to the public, who are supposed to have helped shape it.

If you need more time to remove inconsistencies in the OCP, then take it. Rushing key policy formation is not good governance either.

Slipping in at the last minute “Or Action Plan” is even worse governance.

It is worse governance, because it creates another loophole that can, and almost certainly will be used to override Local Area Plans, opening the possibility of policy derived from stakeholders (that have often included the UDI, a development and real estate lobby); potentially overlapping with and thus contradicting Local Area Plans, which would make it a loophole that can have the LAPs overridden by whatever portion of the OCP is arbitrarily chosen at the time and cherrypicked to override another part, something widely open for abuse and is completely lacking in sense and in good governance.

We’ve already seen how a similar loophole: section 5.1.2 of the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan, was designed to nullify much of that plan in the favour of the interests of developers and has already been used for those purposes. This is also notable in that various people involved with the UDI lobby, including a head of their local branch and its Executive Director were on the Shelbourne Valley Stakeholders Committee, which played a key role in the formation of that Action Plan.

In other words, by deferring to the OCP, when the Local Area Plans and Action Plans are part of the OCP; this is a means of superseding both of these plans through overlaps in them, which is simply put bad planning. It makes no logical sense, as they are part of the OCP.

Translation: the OCP will be used to override the OCP. It is illogical, but it is something that can be abused in the future, if it is allowed to take place, just as claimed conformance to the OCP to avoid public hearings on rezoning, something that the UDI pushed through registered lobby meetings with the province, has been open to abuse and I think it is has been.

Allowing this to pass is the equivalent of putting instantaneous planned obsolescence into local planning, which fits the general pattern. This does not appear to be a mistake; it fits with what the Mayor termed “decoupling” of the Local Area Plans from the OCP, a new form of newspeak, which is in the Capital Daily article titled: “How changing a planning oddity in Saanich could speed up housing approvals”.

Contrary to the title, this is more like creating a planning oddity, or loophole to override local area plans, which is anti-democratic to its core.

I will say no more here as the public are not provided adequate opportunity for public input by design by the NDP and those under them, who serve the UDI on housing policy.

Thank you"


After the presentation, during the deliberations on the OCP update (item F3. on the agenda), both staff and a councillor seemingly referred on camera to what I and another speaker had during public input pointed out: that loopholes were being added to the OCP that effectively allowed the OCP to trump Local Area Plans, despite that the LAPs are part of the OCP; thus allowing LAPs to be effectively nullified through this process when applied.

According to the dialogue between the councillor and the staffer, changes being made to the OCP would give the OCP, "Supremacy" over the Local Area Plans and the LAPs could now be overridden by the OCP. Another alarming conclusion from the dialogue from the staffer was that staff had decided that they should not bother to rid the new OCP of inconsistencies!

If this is not terrible governance, if not tyranny over localized areas, I don't know what is.

This looks to me to be not only bad governance, but a form of intentional tyranny over localized areas through leaving now recognized loopholes and inconsistencies in the plan that override local plans. From the politicians' descriptions, the OCP sounded like a proverbial block of Swiss Cheese full of inconsistencies, which was not only an issue not to be fixed, but something to be left unchecked and that had potential merit as a result!


Note: I was unable to say the following due to time constraints:

As for the Cadboro Local Area Plan, on page 7. of the redlined document “other infill forms as per zoning” has been slid into the document, which looks as elsewhere in the OCP updates to be there to appease the province, which is bluffing its way to overturning municipal sovereignty through items like Bill 44 and Bill 47.

As I have said previously, if you defer power over zoning to the province, you would save the taxpayer money by resigning and telling the province to take over directly.


Note: The following are loopholes being proposed to be put into the plan:

7.2.3 Defer to the OCP where there is an inconsistency in policy direction between the OCP and a Local Area Plan or Action Plan.

7.2.4 Consider OCP amendments for increased residential density/height where proposed developments:

a. Advance overall plan objectives;
b. Demonstrate architectural and site design excellence;
c. Provide a significant public benefit including securing non-market or supportive housing and/or parks or community facilities.

Petition · Let's Ban Corporations from Buying Canadian Homes as Investments ·

UVic and Saanich continue to simultaneously clear natural habitat for further development.

The full article can be read here:

The Latest Environmental Destruction in and Around the University of Victoria (UVic) – CRD Watch Homepage

Excerpt: ""The Urban Development Institute, an association representing property developers, related professions, municipalities and non-profits with a focus on advancing real estate projects, has heavily lobbied on housing issues, including for policy changes. According to the [B.C. Lobbyists Registry](, during the 12 months before Bill 44 passed into legislation, the institute lobbied the B.C. government 80 times on matters related to housing. The institute directly lobbied B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon 25 times. Urban Development Institute president and CEO Anne McMullin was not available for an interview and the institute did not respond to written questions from The Narwhal or make anyone else available for an interview."


Canada Action is the astroturfing "non-profit" organization behind the BC LNG will reduce global emissions mass advertising campaign.

The BC system is designed to allow lobbies that push for-profit interests to hide under the cloak of being non-profit organizations, something that I wrote about in this article:

Canada Action's funding page: Funding - Canada Action

Why does the BC system allow so-called "non-profit" NGOs pushing profit-based interests to hide under non-profit status, when they are clearly acting as a lobby? Why are they not require to make public who their donors are?

Why is the registered non-profit allowed to publicly spread mass misinformation in British Columbia e.g. that LNG will reduce global emissions?

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