Done deals and power tools in North Saanich

Two questions from North Saanich residents about council’s decision to proceed with 40-80 units on four acres are worthy of response

Two questions from North Saanich residents about council’s decision to proceed with 40-80 units on the four acres at 9395 East Saanich Road are worthy of response.

Commenting on whether to participate in the May 13 public hearing, one said: “This was all a done deal and did I really want an exercise in futility and frustration? When the council is really asking for input before making their decision, I would love to come and put in my two pennyworth!”

Another asked, “Is there no higher power that can require council to adhere to the official community plan?”

The short answer to both queries is no.

No one need experience the frustration and futility, the impotent feeling of speaking to closed minds. And there is no statutory power or legal recourse to support residents in enforcing the current provisions of the OCP.

I would offer a more encouraging response to these citizens.

Although the input of some residents at the May 13 public hearing was described as pearls before swine, as one of the porcine councillors, I found much of value in the presentations, both pro and con, and attempted to reflect that in my motion (unsuccessful) to postpone the decision until this new information could be incorporated into the picture.

Nevertheless, I still encourage folks to present council with their opinions, views and values for North Saanich.

Opportunities for communication must not be wasted; council cannot be allowed to take positions without hearing the full range of residents’ perspectives and the valuable additional information they provide.

While there may be no immediate statutory relief for residents worried about undermining the OCP, there is indeed the ultimate higher power of the ballot box.

In the next election, voters will have a more clear understanding of the density implications of the affordable housing euphemisms that were tossed into the 2011 campaign and the outcome of the 2014 trip to the polls will give a more honest picture of where people in North Saanich want their community to go.

So, my plea to all concerned citizens: please come to council and give voice to your vision for North Saanich.

Share your views with your neighbours and local media. Don’t let council have a free ride to development.

The election of 2014 is not far off: your opportunity to use a pencil as a power tool to shape the future of North Saanich.

Elsie McMurphy, Councillor

District of North Saanich

 

Just Posted

Howard the Gnome finds a home at Galey Farms

Eight-metre gnome expected to greet visitors to Saanich farm this fall

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

Bridges for Women grad takes on new business idea

Victoria woman puts her lessons into action with Sweeping Beauty Concierge

VicPD warn public on fake firearms after responding to four gun calls in just five hours

Officers treat each firearm as a real weapon until they can determine it isn’t, say police

Purple Day 2019: Victoria marks epilepsy awareness day

1 in 100 Canadians live with epilepsy, a neurological disorder with many symptoms

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

POLL: Do you still have a landline telephone?

With smart phones becoming an indispensable part of modern-day life, more and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read