LETTER: EDPA was flawed from the beginning

LETTER: EDPA was flawed from the beginning

If there is faulty science, it is the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) itself that is bad science. It was based on old inaccurate maps from the start. That was a major issue. The other major issue was how it was applied by staff in an authoritarian way, with no scientific basis, according to biologist Ted Lea.

READ ALSO: Saanich councillor says residents owed a bylaw like the rescinded EDPA

Lea may have upset Saanich staff, and he definitely did when he made comments like it takes 10 seconds to assess some properties when in the EDPA simply because some should never should have been in EDPA in the first place, like a fully developed home site with lawn or when the EDPA includes half a house, going through its kitchen.

I was at the June 10 meeting. Since then I have read the Diamond Head Report, Rollo Report and Lea’s decision. The latter stated his conclusions are probably good science. No mention of faulty science.

My personal recommendation: We need an impact assessment, not another new study. A new Environmental Policy Framework was presented at the June 10 meeting. Incomprehensible to council. Even staff and CAO could not clarify major points. A truly bizarre presentation.

READ ALSO: Saanich councillor warns of ‘torturous experience’ as they consider replacing EDPA

I believe we need an impact assessment to assess the effects of climate change. Is our biodiversity doomed? Can it be conserved, preserved, enhanced and restored?

Finally, when we talk emergency preparedness, we talk earthquake preparedness only. I find this bizarre.

To me the real elephant in the room is the risk of wildfires. Will my grab-and-go bag help me when I’m trying to evacuate? What is the wildfire risk? All of the conservation time, effort and money will be for naught if we have a wildfire like Paradise, Calif. Imagine a fast-spreading wildfire starting on the shore of Finlayson Inlet. How would the population of Saanich evacuate? Colwood crawl? Scary thought.

READ ALSO: Firefighters bring Sooke wildfire under control

This is precisely what Saanich council should focus on: Impact assessment of climate change on biodiversity and risk assessment for wildfires. A reporter should ask Coun. Nathalie Chambers to prove her allegation of faulty science as it pertains to the fine work of Lea.

Jeffrey Brooks