Council funds priority goals in new Financial Plan

May 11, 2021

News release 

For immediate release 

Council funds priority goals in new Financial Plan

Saanich, BC—Saanich Council passed the five-year Financial Plan Bylaw as well as the 2021 Tax Rate Bylaw at its May 10 meeting. These bylaws establish the operating and capital plans for all municipal programs, including the tax revenue required to support service delivery.

“I’m pleased this year’s budget decisions will allow us to provide excellent service delivery to Saanich residents as well as continued progress on our Strategic Plan initiatives and actions,” said Mayor Fred Haynes.

The District ofSaanich’s 2021-2025 Financial Plan, also known as the budget, outlines spending for municipal programs, services and infrastructure. The 2021 Tax Rate Bylaw establishes an average tax rate increase of 5.76 per cent. This equates to a $161 increase for the average existing homeowner in Saanich. Council approved additions to the budget to address strategic plan goals and initiatives in the following areas among others.

Climate action and environmental leadership

$2,644,000 to address the Climate Action Emergency and continue work as a leader in environmental stewardship through:

  • acceleration of the Active Transportation Plan;
  • direct funding for the Climate Action Reserve Fund to ensure key projects can proceed;
  • new positions in Sustainability and Urban Forestry;
  • improvement to Saanich’s fleet of vehicles through support for projects to increase sustainability and use of renewable diesel; and
  • increased funds for tree planting.

Organizational excellence

$515,000 to ensure continued service excellence with:

  • new positions in Finance, Human Resources, Legislative Services and Facility Operations to support key internal corporate functions;
  • new positions to ensure effective and efficient use of the software that supports tax and utility billing, development processes and calls for service;
  • new position to support service to the public with transportation related inquiries and complaints; and
  • new positions in Planning to ensure efficient processing of development applications.

Affordable housing, land use and infrastructure management

$282,000 to hire new staff to:

  • move forward on a formal asset management program;
  • work on housing planning and policy issues;
  • work on mapping the assets in our urban forest; and
  • work on critical capital infrastructure projects.

Community Well-being

$130,000 to support:

  • a volunteer appreciation event;
  • a parks refuse collector to address garbage overflow in our well-used parks; and
  • a staff development officer in the Fire Department to ensure our firefighters are trained to keep Saanich residents safe.

Economic Diversification

$60,000 to fund a new Economic Development Officer.

Quick facts

  • Saanich’s basic operations include more than 100 services.
  • Saanich will mail tax notices and informational materials to all property owners before the end of May 2021.
  • Payment of taxes and annual homeowner grant applications are due on or before July 2, 2021.
  • Starting May 2021 property owners will apply for their home owner grant online or by phone with the province. Municipalities no longer accept or process home owner grants.
  • Late penalties are based on the Alternative Tax Scheme approved by Council April 26.

The 2021-2025 Financial Plan and Budget in Brief are available at


Media contact:
Valla Tinney
Director of Finance