Saanich COVID-19 update: 2020 financial planning changes

March 24, 2020

Saanich COVID-19 update: 2020 financial planning changes

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich is facing unusual circumstances that require different approaches to financial matters. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizing these extraordinary times, Council has directed staff to create a budget that allows the municipality to continue base operations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic affects each and every one of us and it’s so important that we do our part now,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “We will concentrate on continuing our current service levels and we also recognize that expanding our services is not realistic right now. Saanich is committed to protecting our residents, both owners and renters, as well as businesses from financial impacts wherever possible, and that’s why we will limit the property tax increase to only support the basic municipal services.”

Saanich’s basic operations include more than 100 services. The core budget includes many of Council’s priorities including previously directed work on environmental protection, active transportation and response to climate change. Council and staff will still be able to make progress on many of the priorities included in the 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan with this budget.

At its March 23 meeting, Council directed staff to: 

  • use 2019 annual surplus and 2020 contingency to cover costs associated with COVID-19;
  • prepare financial plan and tax rate bylaws based on the core budget submitted at the March 3 Committee of the Whole meeting representing a 3.74 per cent property tax increase; and
  • adopt a borrowing bylaw to ensure sufficient cash flow is available for operations should collection of property revenues be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 This altered approach means that Saanich can implement an appropriate financial strategy to ensure continued funding is available to support daily operations of Saanich, while also planning for the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and other risks.

The full report to Council regarding 2020 financial planning is available at The first three readings of the financial plan and tax rate bylaws will be scheduled for an upcoming Council meeting. 

Visit for the most up-to-date information on Saanich’s response to the pandemic.




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