Deadline extended for public feedback on two important Saanich strategies

May 24, 2024

Information bulletin
For immediate release

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich is extending the deadline for public input related to Saanich’s Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and updated Draft Urban Forest Strategy.

The questionnaire on our public engagement platform, HelloSaanich, will remain online until Friday, May 31, 2024 for those who haven’t yet had the chance to complete it or who were unable to attend one of our two open houses.

The extension also provides the District a bit more time to share some key highlights that may address some of the questions that have been brought forward during the current engagement period — particularly around the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (BCS).

Question 1: How does the BCS respond to the direction that was given by Council?

Council requested an Environmental Policy Framework which includes the Climate Plan, a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and an enhanced stewardship program.

Staff are delivering a draft Environmental Policy Framework that was developed by the Resilient Saanich Technical Committee (RSTC) with staff input. It will guide all departments to create a coordinated approach for environmental projects, programs and policies.

A draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy was developed by staff in close collaboration with the RSTC as well as an external consultant. It contains a range of actions to support enhanced stewardship, some of which include improved mapping, community engagement and working with landowners to protect natural areas using a variety of tools.

Question 2: What role did the Resilient Saanich Technical Committee (RSTC) play in helping to formulate the BCS?

The Resilient Saanich Technical Committee provided extensive expert advice on the many actions in the BCS, as well as a shortlist of priority actions they felt were key in protecting and enhancing biodiversity in Saanich — all of which are included in Section 1.4 of the strategy.

Question 3: What impact could the Biodiversity Habitat Network have on me as a landowner?

The Biodiversity Habitat Network is a baseline framework that identifies natural areas with high biodiversity conservation value. This network includes important habitat patches as well as linkages that connect them together. It is a planning tool, NOT a regulatory framework that will impact private property owners.

Question 4: Can you clarify which parts of the BCS focus on parks and public lands?

The BCS has a strong focus on parks and public lands with many actions identified:

  • Theme 4: Restoring ecosystems: enhance biodiversity on public lands, has 35 specific actions — the largest number of actions associated with the 7 themes.
  • In addition, there are actions related to public lands in all other theme areas, except Theme 7 which is related to agricultural lands.

We hope this information provides some clarity around these questions, and we look forward to further discussion when the draft strategies come to Council in the coming months.


The Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (BCS) with the supporting Environmental Policy Framework (EPF), and updated Urban Forest Strategy (UFS) will provide guidance on how to manage, protect, connect, and enhance the District’s biodiversity and urban forest, while recognizing other key Council priorities such as increasing housing opportunities and providing active transportation options.

Learn more

Information about the draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and updated draft Urban Forest Strategy can be found at, and on HelloSaanich where the public questionnaire remains open until May 31, 2024.

A high-level summary of the public’s feedback will be provided to Council to consider as part of their decision making.


Media contact:
Saanich Communications