Mayor Haynes: balancing environmental protection with community needs in Saanich
July 25, 2019
Letter from Mayor Fred Haynes:
Balancing environmental protection with community needs in Saanich
Environmental protection is a topic that is at the forefront of our community. Whether it be our neighbours, friends, colleagues or Council – we all play a part and we all have our own views. Differing views are what makes any community thrive and move forward, but they are also what can challenge us.
I would like to acknowledge that as with any topic that evokes emotion and passion, there are strong opinions regarding how best to balance environmental protection with the needs of the community. I can assure you that we are listening, but we don’t yet have all of the answers. We know there is work to still be done in this area and we’re committed to finding a solution.
As many of you may know, in an attempt to revisit this important topic after hearing community feedback, Saanich Council removed the Environmental Development Permit Area requirements from the Official Community Plan in 2018 and reintroduced the environmental protection framework that existed in Saanich bylaws in 2012.
We are now committed to exploring a renewed environmental policy framework and biodiversity strategy. I do, however, want to be clear in stating that we are unable to speculate on potential impacts of retired regulation on specific properties. Staff are focussed on implementing the direction from Council and work is underway.
Thank you to our valued community members for always taking the time and courage to voice your opinions on matters that are important to us all. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we look forward to reporting back to you on our progress.
Mayor of Saanich