Saanich launches governance review engagement

February 9, 2017

For immediate release  


Saanich, BC – Today, Mayor Richard Atwell announced the launch of a comprehensive public engagement program in support of the Saanich Governance Review. Saanich residents will have an opportunity over the next few months to provide their ideas, priorities, and recommendations on enhancing local governance.

The review was established in response to voter feedback to a ballot question during the 2014 municipal election. Over 88 per cent of those who voted in Saanich indicated support for a community-based review of the governance structure and policies within Saanich and its partnerships within the region. 


Saanich Council appointed the Governance Review Citizen Advisory Committee (GRCAC) to conduct an independent review and report back in fall 2017. One of the primary objectives of this volunteer committee is to consult broadly with the community to obtain a diversity of feedback, with goals of:

  • enhancing awareness and knowledge of governance matters and how they relate to citizens and service delivery, and

  • encouraging participation in the engagement process. 

“Public input and participation is valued and needed,” says Mayor Atwell.  “We are taking as broad an approach as possible on public engagement and consultation. Council is looking forward to the committee’s report, and hearing the community’s views on how we can further optimize our governance approach and processes.” 

Governance is complex and can be somewhat mysterious but has significant implications for residents, businesses and service providers.  According to GRCAC Chair, John Schmuck, “We know that good input is dependent on understanding how governance relates to our daily lives and experiences. So we are committed to developing educational materials and providing access to our committee to grow this understanding. Our intention is to reach out to the residents of Saanich and ask for their input in this consultation process.” 

The committee will be engaging the public on issues such as:

  • Decision-making processes

  • Citizen engagement  

  • Accountability, transparency and access to information and decision makers.

  • The District‘s relationships with local municipalities and the Capital Regional District 

Get Involved

Consultations have been designed to be as inclusive and flexible as possible, and include the following opportunities:

  • Coffee chats, focus groups & community meetings – February to end of May  

  • Written submissions to – February 9 to May 31

  • Online survey – March 1 to May 31

  • Four public meetings – workshops:  April 12 and 22; town halls: May 6 and 17 

Learn More

For more information on the Saanich Governance Review, the Committee, or how to get involved, please visit Find us on social media using #SaanichGov and by following us on Facebook: and Twitter: 



Media Contact 

John Schmuck
Chair, Governance Review Citizen Advisory Committee