NORTH SAANICH OCP:
FULL SPEED AHEAD!
On Monday night, the majority of your Council betrayed your trust.
Having voted in July to delay the OCP Review until after the final Stage 4 British Columbia Public Health Order date - thus allowing the people of North Saanich to more fully participate in the OCP Process - Council voted Monday to trash that commitment and to now proceed with the OCP with all deliberate speed.
In what must feel to certain councillors like an enormous stroke of bad luck, yesterday's announcement lifting restrictions on indoor gatherings would have largely saved them from exposing the extent of their disregard for their previous commitment. But by then they'd made their positions clear.
Councillors Brett Smyth, Murray Weisenberger and Patricia Pearson voted on Monday to proceed, health orders be damned, with Mayor Orr casting the tie-breaking vote to move forward. Interestingly, it was Mayor Orr who on July 12 addressed the limitations of virtual engagement and that night made the motions to wait until after Stage 4, and who has spoken relentlessly in recent weeks about rebuilding trust. It seems that public participation doesn’t matter so much when there aren’t 275 people rallying on your front lawn.
Except that we care. We care about straight talk – which has been in short supply – and how trust gets thinner ever day. And we care about North Saanich; what happens here with the OCP matters to us all.
But some Councillors are determined to pass and institute the new OCP before the election next October, and they don’t want any more delays.
And so what we need to do now – what all of us need to do now – is to show up online at 7PM tonight at Council’s Community Meeting. Please be there and tell them what you think.
If you’d like a refresher on the past few days, you can read recent articles here and here. Consider phrasing your questions carefully to avoid being dismissed on the basis of semantics (i.e. the two proposals Council voted to bring to the community for discussion on September 22nd are to designate for 11,678 or 8,821 in the McTavish Village area, not to zone for them. Zoning comes after designation, you see....)
And while you mull that over, check out what someone sent us. Click on the link and you’ll find yourself on the website of the Urban Development Institute. Where developers, their employees, and everyone in the CRD construction industry is invited to bring their own conflict of interest and contribute – anonymously – to the surveys and workbooks of the North Saanich OCP Review. Click here to read our related article.
Tonight, take the opportunity to tell Council you want a land-use conversation without the developers’ thumbs on the scale. A conversation among North Saanich residents, North Saanich businesses, local First Nations and nobody else, without the biased interference of the Project Team. Tell them you want to be able to believe Council when they make a commitment. Tell them you want to save the wonderful community we call home.
Log in details for the meeting can be found here.
From your friends and neighbours at SaveNorthSaanich.ca,
Don, Alice, Paige, Bernadette, Spring and John