Platform 2022

A long term vision for a lasting community



To see the platform for each category, click on the + next to the subject title to expand the information below it.

Protecting the Interests of Residents and Communities First:

Stop Pausing Local Area Plans.*  LAPs were there for a reason.  Pausing them is essentially a means of ignoring them, which allows developers to get away with what they likely couldn’t get away with otherwise, if Local Area plans were adhered to.  LAPs need to be taken seriously, as they reflect the will of communities.

LAPs must be adhered to and not ignored.

Official Community Plans  (OCP) and LAP update processes should not be undertaken in any way that potentially coerces community will.

The municipality must not engage in marketing campaigns that could affect the results of community update processes.

Take Community Associations seriously.  Do not bypass them, but consult with them on the direction to be acting on at a local level.

If the OCP and LAPS are to be updated, residents should have a secure vote on the final outcome.  Simple online surveys, where anyone from anywhere can fill them out, without any working verification processes in place to ensure those filling them out are residents, doesn’t even pass the sniff test, when it comes to democracy.  This is unacceptable as a means of ascertaining local will.

Communities should not be pressured in any way to densify against their will.  Pressures from other levels of government on local communities to densify, or take other actions that are not community driven, should be challenged openly.

 

*"Saanich council pauses updates to local area plans" [Saanich News]

Stop Overdevelopment:

Prevent subdivisions.  The use of widescale subdivisions, upzoning, and prezoning, while essentially being heralded as the way of the future, is often being pushed in a manner that ignores community input, power and traditional democratic processes e.g. community approval processes.   An agenda of widescale subdivisions is a profit-driven agenda, that is devastating to the local ecology and considerably increases average square meter cost, which runs directly contrary to the narrative that such subdivisions are being done in the name of housing affordability.

Keep Building Height Levels Low.

Saanich is a semi-rural area, where height levels should be kept low.  The sky should be left open for the healthy well being of the population and for migratory bird species.  A ‘Babel’ business model is unsustainable and unacceptable.

Arguments put forth by developers and banks that higher heights are more economically efficient should be put into context.  Saanich is under no obligation to maximize profits for developers and banks.  If developers and banks say that for projects to go forward, they need higher heights; they can be ignored.  Others will be more than willing to build sustainably at lower heights, and those complaining will lose out on business opportunities to provide real sustainability according to the actual meaning of the word, instead of a pretense of it.

Keep rural areas rural.  If an area is rural and doesn't already have sidewalks and streetlights, don't add them.  It is far better for wildlife and human well being to be able to see the stars.  Streetlights wreak havoc with the natural circadian rhythms in both humans and wildlife and can be devastating for both.

Do not allow development that reduces green space and requires the cutting of mature trees.

Do not set aside any more land for development.  Only the land that is used now for housing, can be reused in the future for those, or other construction purposes.  This is a policy that will ensure sustainability for the future and ensure that the district's carbon and other polluting emissions do not increase, while simultaneously ensuring that its natural carbon sinks remain intact.

Do not let the "garden city" become the concrete jungle.

Point out that the justification given by various levels of government for densification based on the need to reduce urban sprawl, is disingenuous and a red herring, as long as the government is simultaneously allowing continuously expanding urban sprawl, at the same time as they are densifying, as they are currently doing.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  All of this is simply growth for profit’s sake and the justifications provided for it are a mere greenwash/exercise in PR.

Separate Lobby and State:

Withdraw Saanich from membership of the Urban Development Institute.

The District of Saanich is now a member of the Urban Development Institute (The UDICR),* which among its functions, acts as a lobby and spokes-organization for BC's largest industry: development.  That means that a level of government is now a member of a lobby organization designed to lobby the government.  Further this lobby for the development industry is considered a "stakeholder" on some community processes and has been consulted on them in that position by the municipality. How is that not a conflict of interest?

 

*UDI Capital Region Member Directory

Electoral Reform:

Call for the elimination of all money and advertising, especially lawn signs in municipal politics.

Elections in a rational society should be based solely on content, not on who can pay for the best image.

Call for the elimination of developer money in municipal campaigns.  Much of the function of elected officials at the municipal level involves zoning and bylaw policy, which means that developers can end up benefiting financially from the actions of council members, if zoning and bylaw policy is enacted in their favour.  Therefore allowing developers to donate to municipal campaigns is a conflict of interest.

Call for the elimination of third party ‘electoral organizations’, which run contrary to the spirit of keeping party politics out of the municipal processes and for keeping what essentially amounts to lobby money out of democratic elections.

Return Saanich to a ward system, so that each region within it is represented and has an equal footing at the table.

Create a council vote billboard, so that each vote by the mayor and council can be seen openly by the public in order to have transparency about which elected members of the public are voting for what.

Do Not Create More Roads and Infrastructure for Higher Traffic:

Saanich should stop increasing the number of roads and infrastructure for higher road traffic, if it is to be consistent in its claims that it is trying to reduce road traffic.  Increasing roads merely increases the phenomenon of induced demand,* in turn driving higher amounts of traffic, which creates a vicious and unsustainable feedback loop in the process of more vehicles on the road and higher C02/pollutant emissions as a result.   Road creation is also one of the main causes of wildlife decline in the province and thus should be halted accordingly.

The following link includes a letter to the editor titled “No road, that will just bring traffic” that I wrote on this theme:

https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters-april-30-shortage-of-family-doctors-housing-costs-and-doctors-pizza-and-hotdogs-in-schools-5316698

*Info link on induced demand

Housing Affordability:

I find it disingenuous that municipal candidates will often suggest that they will be able to provide housing affordability if elected, when the main issues regarding housing affordability are dependent on the policies of the federal government and to a lesser extent on the provincial government.

The solution from candidates has typically been to expand the supply of housing, which does not bring housing prices down.  A perfect example is the city of Victoria, which has recently expanded housing supply in a massive way and seen house and rental prices skyrocket there during the same period.

Increasing housing supply will not bring housing prices down, if the same underlying roots are in place that are driving the increase in housing prices in the first place; including the old boom and bust cycle of capitalism, a constantly increasing population and housing as an investment.  These underlying roots must stop for any real change to take place in regard to housing prices.

Challenge the federal and provincial governments to drop the doublespeak on housing.

Call on the federal and provincial governments for an outright ban on housing speculation.

Housing should not be a commodity sold to the highest investor, but a promise for a dignified life to all its citizens.

Don’t just tax speculation.  Stop speculation in its tracks.

The speculation tax has not succeeded in bringing housing prices down, they have increased simultaneously.

Speculation taxes operate like a sin tax, and like most sin taxes are ineffective at preventing what they claim to be trying to prevent.  Governments like so-called sin taxes, because like the papal sale of indulgences of old, they can profit from the ‘sins’ they claim they are trying to prevent.  In such a scenario, it is not in their interests to prevent or even reduce at all the ‘sins’ targeted, because they make revenue from it via taxes.  Thus, an outright ban on speculation would solve the problem, instead of profiting from it.

Call on the provincial government to instead of just talking about it, actually take action to stop casino money laundering,  something that has been attributed to a significant percentage of the Real Estate prices in Vancouver.

Call on the federal government to stop stimulating housing demand continually through migratory policy that creates a situation of musical chairs when it comes to housing; that drives prices to levels outside the realm of possibility for the working class and that leaves much of its own citizenry dying in the streets through overdoses etc.  If we can’t house our own citizenry, how can we have the gall to offer to house the world at the same time?

Call on the federal government to ban international investment from purchasing housing stock, and not merely paying lip service to it by leaving as many loopholes open, as a proverbial block of ‘Swiss cheese’.

Ban Air BNBs in Saanich, with the exception of on farms e.g. ‘agritourismo’, WWOOFing etc.  Offering accommodation on the side can be a means of allowing farms to stay in operation and preserves and enhances food security for the region.

By banning Air BNBs, with the exception of on farms, rental prices can be brought down significantly and significantly lower the cost for student accommodation.

On the latter regard, call on post secondary institutions e.g. UVIC and Camosun, to rein in their model of corporate expansionism and lead by example when it comes to sustainability.

Single family homes are not the enemy, nor are families for that matter.  They are being scapegoated in public discourse.

If single family homes are now unaffordable for the working class; the problem is not single-family homes, which used to be a pragmatic goal for workers to attain, the question to ask is rather, why are single family homes no longer affordable?

In the 50s, 60s and even 70s, many single-family homes and properties were purchased in the 20–40-thousand-dollar range and for a time banks wouldn’t even consider offering a loan that was higher than 2.5 times that of a worker’s annual salary.  Even adjusted for inflation, the price of those properties is nothing compared to what they cost today.  Often the same homes and properties are now going for well over a million and even into the multi-million-dollar price range.  Whereas previously workers could expect a home/property at 2.5 times that of their annual salary, now many of the same homes are going for more than they could save in 2.5 lifetimes.  That situation is entirely untenable for a fair and reasonable society for working class people and their families to expect to survive in.

The solution being provided in public discourse, often originating from banks and developers and being espoused by various levels of government is to build smaller and smaller housing units for people, leaving those buying them to have to pay more and more, often twice the square meter cost in the process, often in the ironic name of housing affordability.  The public is being ripped off and the math benefits solely those who are profiting from the situation, often obscenely through their investments.

Do not leave affordable housing to the private sector.  The profit motive trumps delivering on actual affordable housing by the private sector.

Affordable housing is not 10% below market value.*

*See: Saanich News Article

Return Healthcare as a Priority to Saanich

Call on the province to take action to return family doctors and well functioning clinics to Saanich. How can we ensure the health of those in the community, including those who work here, if they do not have access to healthcare?

Maintain, Enhance, Protect and Promote a Strong Working Class:

A strong working class is the backbone of any society and should be treated as such.

Capitalism has always treated the working class harshly, because it demands inequality by its very nature.

Governing based on the interests of capital (plutocracy), is not compatible with actual democracy, which requires a certain freedom of will and level of equality; that capitalism by its very definition cannot provide.  This is a key reason why the American ‘founding fathers’ preferred the model of a republic (representative rule, which could be bought out), to a genuine democracy ‘rule by the people’.

Call on the federal government to eliminate inflation.  Inflation by its very design has been used as a principal weapon against the working class by those in power.  Inflation hits workers the most by constantly devaluing and debasing their wages, as well as any savings they might hope to reap from their work, thus ensuring workers remain on a grinding treadmill without much hope for salvation. Think of the ancient myth of Sisyphus.

The economist John Maynard Keynes in his General Theory […] suggested that inflation be used as a key force of the modern state and cynically suggested that unions would be unlikely to revolt against the reduction in the real value of wage, as opposed to its simple numerical value.  In many ways these ideas are central to the way states still operate.

While Keynesian economic theory was in many ways a protection against Great Depression type scenarios repeating themselves, it was a system designed to keep the business class in charge and was dependent on constant economic expansion and maximum consumption, a model that is utterly unsustainable and ultimately destructible to nature itself.

We are presently living in one of the highest rates of inflation in decades and the results have been disastrous for workers.  As a worker I fully understand how frustrating and untenable this situation ultimately is and will do everything in my power to advocate for a change to that process.

Take Indigenous Relations Seriously:

Is anyone else tired of endless platitudes about unceded native lands by the same people and organizations, who are pushing an agenda of endless development and settlement on them?

Instead of just repeating lines over and over without action, I intend to take concrete action to stop once and for all the continued expansion of construction and settlement on indigenous lands.

Instead of just saying that the municipality is consulting the indigenous (a consultation is meaningless without appropriate resulting action), we need to take seriously once and for all indigenous visions of the future, wisdom of the past, stewardship of ecology and act accordingly.  It is our only bet for a lasting future.

The indigenous of British Columbia were masters of low carbon sustainable living.  Somehow, they managed to do that without an agenda of ever-increasing high-rises and city densification.  We should be learning from the indigenous how to live a low density, low carbon lifestyle in harmony with the surrounding environment and species within it, instead of pushing the toxic agenda of artificial economic expansion first and foremost on their traditional territories, as is currently taking place.

Restore and protect indigenous ecology and agriculture.

Protecting the Environment:

Call on the Province to immediately end Old Growth Forestry in B.C.

Ban all gas landscaping Equipment on residential properties with a several year phase out period, as was recently passed in a Motion by Oak Bay.

The majority of Saanich Council recently voted against banning leaf blowers, which studies have shown are far worse for the environment, than even SUVs, which makes their platitudes about climate action/’crisis’ all the more skeptical in the process.  How come the only major ‘solution’ they can come up with to deal with the constitution of the atmosphere is to build more?

In order to address increasing private green space being taken by mega-mansions, I will forward a motion for the allowable footprint ratio to be significantly limited and/or reduced in the municipality.

Most of Saanich’s green spaces and ecological zones are situated on private property.  The preservation of these zones is important and key for both local and migratory species.

Maintain green spaces without reducing them.  Protect top soil, especially from unscrupulous bulldozers.

Protect and Preserve ALR land.

Significantly expand and enforce tree protection, including on private properties.

Stop the Saanich policy of allowing mature local trees to be replaced by spindly saplings, or trees reminiscent of dwarf bonsais, that the owner might plant clumped into some unusable corner of the property to make ‘tree replacement’ look on paper(ironically) like actual ecological protection when it is not.*

*For an excellent caricature of this absurdity in Victoria, see the following Raeside cartoon by clicking on the: Link

Do not allow the replacement of local tree species with non-local tree species, something that has happened again and again in Saanich.

Ban the use of glyphosate herbicide in Saanich, especially by the municipality itself.  Has anyone else seen the municipality use it ineffectively on invasive species like lesser celandine, year after year, contaminating the ground each time?

Protect valleys and areas around creeks from development.  Has anyone else noticed the irony that many of the same politicians calling for the restoration of Bowker Creek as a salmon bearing stream, are at the same time calling for major development in the Shelbourne Valley?

Protect the Shelbourne Valley from overdevelopment.  The provincial government has been pushing for major development in the valley on the basis of its being a key transportation corridor.

Protect the Blenkinsop Valley and other areas around Mount Doug (Pkols) from further development.

Protect Cadboro Bay from over development.

Put strong protections in place for the remaining Garry Oak Meadow Ecosystems.

Reject anthropocentrism.  Has anyone been calling for the densification of non-human species?  All the densification talk so far has been about densifying human species, while at the same time trying to reduce densification of other species like deer, and ignoring the reduction in natural flora and fauna caused by construction.  Why the double standard?  Why are we as humans suddenly the exception?

Make preserving biodiversity the main priority for the municipality.

Enforce bans on foreign introduced invasive plant species, including enforcing bans on the sale of them within the municipality.

Adopt Carbon Means Testing (CMT).  If a building or other structure is to be built, the municipality should determine, whether or not, in the process, it would release more carbon and pollutants, than simply reusing, or enhancing existing buildings or structures.  If the answer is no, then the building, or structure shouldn’t be built.

Degrowth:

Adopt a degrowth, as opposed to a growth-based agenda.

Reject “smart growth” policies and others based on similar euphonic phrases; that disguise the ultimate unsustainability of any agenda rooted in permanent growth.

The so-called ‘Smart Growth’ being pushed by the municipality, is a blaring contradiction in terms in the 21st century.

While so-called ‘smart growth’ is being adopted paradoxically in the name of sustainability, steady growth without end, as everyone knows, is not sustainable, whether on the cellular level or in the CRD.

To quote David Suzuki: “the drive for growth is a crate of cancer cells. Cancer cells believe they can grow forever. And they can’t. And it’s the same thing with our economy within the biosphere. It can’t grow forever.”

Degrowth is the only rational way forward in a toxic age that as been referred to as the “Anthropocene” or ‘Human Epoch’, an age that has seen as the result of human activity in brief geological time, one of the largest mass extinctions since the age of the dinosaurs.

Reject Growth Nodes

While the municipality, the province and others have focused growth in so-called “growth nodes” and “growth corridors”, this idea in urban planning like so-called ‘smart growth’, is to be rejected.  After all a tumour too is a “growth node”.

Adopt Degrowth nodes.

Instead of growth nodules, we should offer a more rational way for the future given the current overextension of the human species and overdevelopment.  The alternative can be achieved through the use of degrowth nodes.

Degrowth nodes would be areas set aside to gradually reduce density and return to more sustainable and/or natural usage.

e.g. areas could ultimately be rezoned towards being returned to agricultural use, instead of further densification of development.  Areas could also gradually be set aside to return to being camas fields, as were used by the indigenous for centuries in Saanich.  This would significantly enhance food security and take much less of a strain on resources.

Instead of Upzoning, which is designed to benefit the few, practice Downzoning.  E.g. luxury condo highrises could be downzoned to affordable housing, so that when the building ultimately needs to be replaced the units built should be slated to be affordable units, or affordable housing instead; or in some cases areas with housing could be reverted to rural zoning, or turned to parkland as a means of de-densification.

Oppose densification.  While the general political/economic trend is one of densification due to economic incentive for the few, this is to be rejected on multiple grounds, including health and well being, but also because of the destructiveness humans reap on the environment we depend on, especially when concentrated in large numbers.  The justification used to drum up support for densification is a greenwash and nothing more.  Dense cities require huge carbon intensive supply lines that wrap around the world to support them.

Cities like New York, Tokyo and Toronto do not have low carbon footprints, no matter how those in the greenwashing PR business would like to spin them, nor for that matter does increasing density decrease the cost of housing, far from it as those dense cities attest.

As much as politicians and those with an economic incentive for expansion like to pretend they are reinventing the wheel and giving us something new with densification.  They are not.  Dense cities exist already all over the world.  There is a reason why so many people would prefer to escape them and come live in a place like semi-rural Saanich instead.

When Saanich was much less and dense and far more rural than it is now and is heading in, land and housing was purchased in the 50s, 60s and 70s for a mere fraction of what it sells for now with more and more densification continuing to drive the price up in regards to square meter cost to ever greater heights.  This is of course a rip-off for those purchasing their first home, but that is not who these policies are designed to benefit. Of course, there is an economic incentive for investors and developers to continue on this course, but let’s not kid ourselves and buy their propaganda that this is somehow moving in a direction towards ecological sustainability.  It is not.

Building more and more, merely stimulates induced demand (a well established historically shown concept in urban planning) and drives even more demand in the process.

Stop pumping supply, supply, supply as the solution, when it solves nothing and causes more problems in the process, including the added demand on infrastructure, the natural environment and on so-called ‘natural resources’, while in turn through densification continually degrading the quality of life, health and well-being and increases the level of crime in the process.

The sounds of birds chirping and an open sky or tree canopy is much more conducive to well-being, than the noise and pollution from added car engines on roads with blaring streetlights, and highrisescapes blotting out the night sky.

Food Security:

Camas was grown on a widescale in the area now known as Saanich as a staple of the indigenous diet.  Camas grew well in Garry Oak ecosystems that we now refer to as ‘Garry Oak Meadows’.

We should follow the example of the indigenous that lived in the region for centuries sustainably by returning to the use of Garry Oak Meadows as camas nurseries.

Increase agricultural lands and return areas to traditional land usage. (Without of course decreasing green space to do it).  Use degrowth to achieve this.

As the ancient wisdom goes: Money is not edible.

On an island this proverb can be even more apt during times of supply disruption.  We need to think ahead to ensure food security, or we could be in serious trouble.  The recent temporary collapse of the Malahat supply line during the heat dome, showed major vulnerabilities for southern Vancouver Island in the case of emergency.

Transportation:

Bring back the electric trams!

Actually, green unlike CNG powered busses in operation, and far greener even than hypothetical battery busses (if powered by renewable energy), electric trams were the way of the future and existed throughout much of Greater Victoria in the early 20th century, but were ultimately suppressed in favour of the fossil fuel petroleum-based automobile industry which overtook North America.  If Vancouver can still use electric trams, so can we.
Cool fact: The old track lines are still under the pavement in some places in Greater Victoria, including in the Uplands roundabout, where their outlines can still be seen in the concrete.

Stop using transportation routes as an excuse to increase development.
Both the provincial government and the municipality have been promoting and pushing the idea that housing should be densified and increased along transportation routes/corridors, especially those serviced by mass transit.

Is it any coincidence that this has been one of the main themes heavily promoted to the government by the development lobby?

The incorrect notion that this is going to help reduce C02 emissions, has been a perfect excuse to encourage, push, or even attempt to force development around so-called transportation corridors.

Of course more development in the municipality, means more noisy diesel spewing heavy construction machines, more top soil, carbon sinks and water sinks (e.g. the Bowker creek area) overturned in the process, and more cars on the road, as evinced by already clogging transport arteries e.g. McKenzie being a perfect example, causing in turn more cars to idle away inefficiently and spew even more pollution into the community and atmosphere.

Decrease Housing Density to Decrease Traffic.  The less population there is in a city and its environs, the less traffic there will be in it.  Let’s go for the obvious.

Fix the ditches along Carey Road that have become over the years notorious as inadvertent traps for vehicles that frequently fall into them.

Ensure that added transportation infrastructure e.g. sidewalks, bus stops and bike lanes etc., does not take place at the expense of the natural environment, especially mature trees, as has often been the case e.g. at the UVIC bus exchange, along Finnerty etc.

A Different Approach to Bike Lanes

Growing up in Victoria in the 90s and the early 2000s, I frequently rode a bicycle and roller blades!  When Victoria was less dense, it was a lot more bicycle friendly.  With few cars on the roads in comparison to today, and wide roads without a confusing plethora of overcontrolled socially engineered transportation design making people feel a bit more like they are living in TRON, than in a natural organic community setting; biking, blading etc., was a lot more fun in the old days, and probably even safer than it is now.*  Certainly I felt a lot safer on the roads with a bicycle etc., in the 90s than I do now.

*Only a week before writing this, tragically a semi-truck wiped out a bicyclist in a bike lane downtown. https://www.cheknews.ca/cyclist-struck-by-semi-truck-turning-onto-johnson-street-bridge-1057186/

The other great thing about biking during those times, was that it was easy, in fact consistently easy to beat the bus, while on a bicycle.  Why?  Because bus routes are often long winding and convoluted, whereas on a bicycle one could be a lot closer to a route ‘as the crow flies’, at least ironically often by zigzagging through nice and quiet backstreets/alleys/passages with low or even non-existent traffic, while on a bicycle.  One got to be creative while coming up with an optimum route, and it could easily change on a whim!  It was a great way to adventurously learn your neighborhoods without feeling like one is simply being herded from place to place, as it is now.

I think that the current approach to bike lanes is misguided and here is why: Who wants to ride their bicycle by a bunch of cars in heavy traffic, which is often dangerous, all the while choking on the smoggy fumes of motor vehicle traffic?  The whole point of being on a bike is to avoid motor traffic, not to be beside it!

As an alternative I suggest focussing bike traffic on natural trails, away from motor vehicle traffic, think the Galloping Goose, the Lochside Trail, a dirt path, or even a rustic mountain bike ride, so that one still feels a part of nature and breathes clean air, while one rides and enjoys the natural adrenaline!

Keep Saanich Safe:

Do not allow casinos in Saanich.  The social and societal costs of casinos far outweigh any perceived ‘benefits’ that they might bring.  They are damaging to families and they help facilitate crime and the artificial rise in Real Estate prices.  I am a vociferous opponent of casinos being allowed in Saanich.  A published letter that I wrote on this subject was a significant contribution to the outcry that successfully led to a recent proposal for a casino in Saanich to be unanimously dropped:

https://www.todayinbc.com/opinion/letter-gambling-is-a-problem-not-an-opportunity/
https://www.timescolonist.com/local-news/saanich-rejects-casino-it-came-down-to-values-mayor-says-4689154

Protect the vulnerable and those in need.  Ensure that they have a future and are not preyed upon.

Homeless shelters should not be placed near schools and daycares.

Prioritize enforcement against fentanyl, now one of the main causes of death in B.C.

Just Say No to Amalgamation:

Each municipality in Greater Victoria has its own distinct character and that is a key part of what makes the region so special and intriguing for those that live here and visit.  Homogenizing the character of the wider area for political reasons, will make the region less diverse, reduce character, reduce distinct communities and make it less interesting in general.

Amalgamation would significantly reduce municipal sovereignty, leading to more centralization of political power and lead to less community input on their futures.  Keep things local instead and say no to amalgamation.

Amalgamation would lead to one stop shopping for developers, which while very convenient to them, would leave less power to the communities affected to shape and maintain their own future.

Amalgamation would likely lead to political populism and centralized power being used as a force against less dense communities.  Imagine Langford vs. the Highlands, Colwood vs. Metchosin, Victoria vs. Saanich for example.

We’ve already seen the Vancouverization of Victoria, let’s not see the Vancouverization of Saanich.  Do not let Saanich become the next Victoria, and do not let it become ruled by it through the process of amalgamation.

Unify Emergency Services in Greater Victoria

While I am opposed to municipal amalgamation, I think that the unification of emergency services between Victoria and the Greater Victoria region is a great way to make the region safer and would lower costs through reducing redundancy in services.

Amalgamation would not be necessary to unify the emergency services and in turn unification would allow them access across municipal borders.

Ensure Fiscal Responsibility:

Many seniors have become among Saanich’s most vulnerable, yet this is seldom portrayed to be the case.  Skyrocketing property taxes and inflation, while affordable to some, often lead to a situation where seniors living on meagre fixed incomes are no longer able to live in their own homes.

Of course, there are always winners too in such a situation. This is a convenient situation for investors, who can potentially buy up such homes and further develop them, as those living in them are squeezed out by the economic situation.

In order to prevent future increases in property taxes, we should call for the reduction of inflation by the federal government.

We should also call for healthy skepticism of pork barrel spending and megaprojects, many of which are undertaken in the name of the need to keep up an increase in infrastructure; in order to allow continual economic growth, a vicious and unsustainable feedback loop.  Why should the public be left footing a massive bill in order to subsidize an unsustainable agenda of growth and speculation for profit?

Prevent wild severance packages for Chief Administrative Officers, as took place last year in Saanich,* in what has been thought to have been close to a $600,000 payout, with only the vaguest justification given to the tax paying public for the action that resulted in the dismissal of the CAO.

*Article: https://www.saanichnews.com/news/former-saanich-cao-to-get-almost-600000-in-severance-after-firing-without-cause/

Preserve Heritage:

Preserve neighborhood character.

Prevent neighborhoods from being rezoned and bulldozed for even more development.

Preserve historical buildings, structures, remains, sites.

Ensure that a tangible historical link to the past is left, so that the public feel connected to it; so that we can better understand the present and what led up to it, and in turn make well informed decisions about the future.

Create immersive experiences where the public can connect with the past and better understand it through multiple lenses.

Add plaques with important and relevant historical information.

Call on the Province for the reconstruction, restoration and reopening of the historical third floor of the Royal BC Museum

Ensure and promote historical preservation and ensure that it remains visible and not hidden away for politically motivated reasons.

Get Involved

Are you passionate about keeping Saanich safe, family-friendly and sustainable?
We need community members who share our vision and want to help co-create a long-term path to health, wellness and environmental sustainability.