The North Saanich council majority (Dunstan Browne, Ted Daly, Craig Mearns, and Conny McBride) have bypassed the Official Community Plan and zoning by asking the Capital Region District to increase density. In a 12 to 10 vote the CRD approved the amendment but demanded a public hearing in spite of about 97 per cent of resident submissions not supportive and only three presentations in favour.
The debate about the public meeting is revealing and can be seen on the North Saanich web cast. Counc. Elsie McMurphy expressed concern that voting on the bylaw immediately after the public meeting may signal some counsellors have already decided. Browne demanded her comments be withdrawn. He was joined by McBride, Mearns and Daly to strike the comments from the record.
You may notice that when Daly stated the mayor and ‘other’ counsellors drag proceedings out there is no comment. Daly makes a statement of commitment to approve development as soon as possible. Some may wonder if his mind is made up.
The public hearing will be Monday, July 14, 7 p.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre. It is the opportunity for the residents of North Saanich to voice their opinion. The council vote will be a testimony of commitment to community participation.
As voters we hold the future. We must demand counsellors represent the welfare of the community not special interest groups.