Saanich councillor questions time management of colleagues

Coun. Dean Murdock openly questioned council’s use of its time towards the end of a debate last week about whether Saanich should pay into an optional fund that subsidizes the participation of elected officials from small communities on the board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

“I just want to suggest, that with respect, council could have saved itself half an hour of conversation if somebody who had been concerned with this issue had indicated to the staff or the mayor before the meeting they had additional questions, and could they be resolved and that the item be referred to a future agenda item,” said Murdock. “So going forward, that will be my practice, and I am hopeful that other councillors can follow.”

After the initial debate between supporters and opponents of the $1,198 fee, Coun. Colin Plant proposed council send the subject to staff, just as they had done with the question of whether Saanich should pay $2,757 towards an optional legal defence fund that defends the interests of municipalities on issues under federal jurisdictions.

But before council voted on the deferral, chief administrative officer Paul Thorkelsson alerted councillors to “quite a detailed [web] page” that outlines the administration of the fund by way of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). “If council is interested, you can find on the UBCM website, rather than a detailed report back,” he said.

Council then voted 5-4 against deferring the question to the staff, thereby implicitly endorsing payment.

This prompted Plant to ask whether UBCM’s site also addresses Saanich’s questions about the legal defence fund. Thorkelsson responded in the negative, adding the FCM administers the fund directly.

“So we still need that information,” said Plant. “Perhaps, the other one, we could in theory have found somehow on the UBCM’s site. I understand.”

Murdock then entered the discussion with his critique of council’s time management. It drew audible support from the audience, but also a rejoinder from Plant.

“Without the opportunity to read that UBCM document, I’ll stand by my comment that it is an optional fee, and I won’t be voting for it,” he said. “I’m not sure how to respond to Coun. Murdock’s comments. It is in my brain right now, so I can’t cogently put my thoughts together.”

Council then formalized its support for the fee, with Mayor Richard Atwell and Couns. Karen Harper and Fred Haynes joining Plant in opposition.

Council, for the record, unanimously approved the basic FCM membership fee of $17,778.

Just Posted

Real estate money laundering ‘deeply troubling’

Attorney General will investigate

Victoria Harbour most polluted on B.C. coast: study

City’s industrial past and more recently, pharmaceuticals, create high levels of pollutants

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

Beauty Day at Our Place a chance to rise above daily struggles

Annual pampering event draws women of all ages and circumstances

Victoria dog attacked by otters off Dallas Road

Off-leash dogs and wildlife can make for a poor mix, veterinary staffer says

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Most Read