My Presentation at the Nov 20, 2023 Saanich Council Meeting Re: the Province's New 'Forced' Housing Targets

November 21, 2023

Right here at Saanich Hall, on September 26, the province said that they consulted the municipalities to generate the forced housing targets, which is incidentally on unceded land.

I asked the province both by email on October 5th and in the Saanich News on November 8: who exactly did you consult?

I finally received an answer from the province the following day. Their answer was: municipal staff.

Here is what their response said:

“Municipal staff from all 10 municipalities participated in consultation meetings with Ministry of Housing staff.”

So, there it is folks, the government consulted itself. They didn’t consult the public. The government consulted themselves, in order to ram thousands of new housing units, regardless of the consequences. They did so, regardless if the public wants or needs this, while simultaneously throwing the public out of the chambers on zoning, by stopping public hearings. This is exactly what the development lobby has been calling upon them to do!

Did municipal staff say they wanted the target numbers?

You can ask staff that right here and now. I am officially asking you to do so. Right here and now. As elected officials, here to do your sworn duty to the public, you must.

Ask staff exactly what the numbers were that staff told the province that Saanich needs mandated by the province.

Please ask that now.

If not, if municipal staff didn’t say they want these target numbers, and if you won’t ask them these questions; then these supposed consultations by the province of itself, are utterly bogus and should be disregarded, if you have any sense. They will have been based on nothing.

Furthermore, there is no actual mechanism to enforce the targets. What are they going to do, appoint another Housing Solutions Advisor?

I am calling the province’s bluff. That is exactly what this is.

To play along with this infantile game from the province, is merely acting the role of puppets in that game.

Saanich should ask staff what numbers it told the province Saanich needed, if any, before doing any update to its strategic vision. Saanich will do this, if it has any sense of integrity and transparency before the public.

Without answering that question, all you will be doing, is playing along with the well-established textbook of NDP political theatre. That is all this is, other than pandering to the development lobby of course, by crushing local democracy.

The NDP government has no plan to deliver affordable housing across the province, and all this is; is positioning itself for the next provincial election, by giving the powerful development and real estate lobby what it wants, at the cost of local democracy.

To Mayor and Council: You were elected by the people of Saanich. Will you show backbone and stand up for them, and for their democratic rights; or will you bow to our new NDP-UDI corporatist overlords?

I think that I already know the answer. I challenge you to prove me wrong.

Thank you.

Note: The item for deliberation was G2. Report from the CAO: “To adopt the update to the Strategic Plan to incorporate the objective and actions related to the Ministerial Order issued under the Housing Supply Act.”

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