Central Saanich council has approved funding for a climate change action coordinator. (Black Press Media file photo)

Central Saanich council has approved funding for a climate change action coordinator. (Black Press Media file photo)

Central Saanich follows more ambitious climate plan with climate action coordinator

Sidney and North Saanich are also pursuing comparable positions

Central Saanich council has signed off on funding for a permanent, full-time climate action and natural environment coordinator.

Council last week approved the position without any opposition, although Coun. Chris Graham had opposed the item when councillors had debated it during committee-of-the-whole earlier this month.

The move comes two years after the municipality had declared a climate emergency and updated its climate leadership with more ambitious targets.

The budget impact of the position is $87,400 in 2021 and an additional $28,700 in 2022, or tax increases of 0.48 per cent and an additional 0.16 per cent tax increase in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Staff say the municipality’s overall operating budget is dropping by 0.4 per cent in 2021, despite the additional post.

A grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities had funded a climate action specialist for the past two years and the question of Central Saanich putting its own money toward a climate action coordinator had become a test of its commitment toward fighting climate change.

RELATED: New Central Saanich climate goal calls for 4,800 EVs on road by 2030

RELATED: Central Saanich pumps up support for climate change mitigation

“Should the District want to continue advancing its Climate Action initiatives as a strategic priority and advance the climate action work plan presented in the attached report, a staffing resource with knowledge and expertise in both climate mitigation and adaptation (is) required,” reads a report from Christine Culham, chief administrative officer. She added that existing municipal staff lacks expertise in the field of climate change. “(Nor) is there capacity to take on this work portfolio with existing resources without adjusting other strategic priorities and adjusting service levels.”

Overall, the municipality foresees funding its climate action plan through reserves and surpluses in the short term with property taxes coming into the mix as the program becomes more established.

Within this context, one key role of the new coordinator is to secure grants to help fund climate action initiatives and offset costs.

Central Saanich had explored the possibility of sharing the position (and its costs) with Sidney and North Saanich, but both communities declined the opportunity in pursuing their own respective positions. Sidney is currently advertising for a climate action coodinator.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Victoria Police continue to investigate a stabbing in downtown Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Passerby calls police after finding man stabbed, sobbing on Victoria street

One man was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read