Saanich Spotlight - Fall 2019


A message from the Mayor

It’s an exciting time in Saanich as we take action on our climate goals. Council recently adopted new climate targets to align with our climate emergency declaration:

  • to achieve 50 per cent reduction of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; and
  • to reach net zero emissions before 2050
    to become a 100 per cent renewable energy community. 

Saanich is one of five municipalities in the world participating in the One Planet initiative. One Planet Living is the vision of a world in which people enjoy happy, healthy lives within their fair share of the earth’s resources, reducing demands on the planet, and leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. This can only be achieved by engaging all residents.

One Planet Saanich participants, including four schools, four local businesses, and three community organizations, created action plans over the last year as phase one of the initiative. These plans aim to reduce our ecological footprint to use just our fair share. Currently, Saanich’s ecological footprint is equal to about three planet’s worth of resources!

This fall, I will meet with Pooran Desai, founder of Bioregional and the One Planet Living, local mayors, and the South Island Prosperity Project to collaborate on next steps. We’ll discuss the idea of a One Planet Region, and One Planet Island. We hope to propose to the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities in 2020.
I’m proud of Saanich’s leadership in this critical conversation. I’m optimistic that we can empower our residents to take action every day to make a positive impact on our climate.

We can’t do it alone.

Mayor Fred Haynes


Emergency Preparedness Tips

Who’s the expert?
YOU are your family’s expert when it comes to emergency preparedness! You likely already have many items you need to sustain your family for seven days after an emergency or disaster. Get organized by creating a household plan and compiling a kit. Here are three easy tips on how to be your own expert on preparedness:

  • Keep your fuel tank more than half full and your supplies stocked. Items we need in an emergency are those we use every day. Ensure your gas tank remains above half, fully charge your mobile phone and replace batteries as you use them. These are helpful practices that pay off in an emergency. 
  • Know your neighbours. Sounds easy, right? It is! Often our first help in an emergency comes from neighbours. Take time to get to know them before you need them. Host a neighbourhood gathering, invite them for coffee or borrow a cup of sugar! 
  • Save those shoes. Place old shoes under your bed. If an emergency happens while you are sleeping they can offer protection if walking on fallen debris and broken glass. Also consider shoes for your vehicle and at work for post emergency conditions. Flip flops or high heels may not be appropriate if walking over debris or for a long distance. 

Bonus tip: attend a Saanich Emergency Program FREE Personal Preparedness Presentation or contact the program office to book your own for any group of 10 or more. Visit or call 250-475-7140 to register.
Preparedness….you got this!

The Great BC ShakeOut!

On October 17 at 10:17 a.m., millions of people worldwide will practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during Great ShakeOut earthquake drills. Register for the 2019 Great BC ShakeOut at
Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes –wherever you live, work or travel!


Budget Update

Did you know financial planning happens throughout the year in Saanich? The financial plan, also known as the budget, starts with the adoption of budget guidelines each summer and continues to the following May, when Council adopts the five-year plan.

Most recently in July, Council adopted the 2020 Budget Guidelines prepared by staff. These guidelines act as “goal posts” to assist Council with setting expectations for the 2020 budget deliberations. Council also asked staff to prepare one and two per cent budget reduction scenarios for their consideration.

The next step this fall is for all municipal departments to compile budgets based on the approved guidelines. The Finance Department compiles all of the departmental budgets and creates the draft Financial Plan to present to Council and the public in early 2020.


Shaping Saanich!

We heard from our residents that our financial planning process isn’t always clear and easy-to-understand. It’s important to us that residents understand this major element of municipal decision-making.

We created the Shaping Saanich campaign with public education in mind. Earlier this year, we developed educational materials to help residents learn about:

Read our fact sheets and watch our video to learn more about how the future of Saanich takes shape.


Fall homeowner preparation tips

  • Clear eavestroughs, downspouts and catch basin gates. It’s early, but before long the leaves will start to fall which can cause potential flooding.
  • Maintain exterior drains. Ensure your private drain systems are functioning correctly to protect your home.
  • Rake leaves. Place smaller amounts in your organics cart. Rake larger amounts into piles for pick up during our Leaf Collection Program. For schedule and guideline information visit
  • Report spills. Fall is the time many residents fill their oil tanks. Residents are encouraged to have their tanks inspected before filling. If you notice any sort of spill, a quick response is key. Call 1-800-663-3456.
  • Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before temperatures dip below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.


From food scraps to fields

Ever wonder where that banana peel that you threw in your organics bin ended up? Well, it could be part of your community soccer field!

Through a new partnership program with D.L. Bins, Saanich is turning food scraps into compost and then repurposing the material to use in local soccer fields.

The process is simple: Saanich’s Solid Waste Services crews deliver thousands of tonnes of organic matter annually from local households to a nearby D.L Bins facility. This organic waste is then turned into high-quality compost and mixed into the base layer of soccer fields by the Parks team during the re-sodding process.

By using the compost material as the base layer for the playing field, the newly re-sodded field has a stronger and more resilient playing surface. As an added bonus, the field will require substantially less fertilization and watering.

Making use of the available compost also saved Saanich taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in material and transportation costs, and it significantly lowered our environmental foot print by reducing GHG emissions. A win-win!


Construction updates

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the construction projects that are happening in Saanich! Check out our next edition for updates.

Bowker Creek restoration

The Creeks and Waterway crew is working in Bowker Creek to repair some significant erosion. The crew is making great progress and have placed over 2,000 sand bags as part of an engineered wall to repair the eroded bank.
To be completed September 2019.

Burnside Road pathway (west of Helmcken) 

We are working on a new pathway that will connect Little Road to Helmcken Road.
To be completed September 2019.

Finnerty pedestrian and cycling upgrades

Crew are upgrading a watermain, installing a two-way cycle track and multi-use trail, improving sidewalks, and planting trees.
To be completed October 2019.

West Saanich Road upgrades – Glanford to McDonalds

We are upgrading underground infrastructure and installing new bike lanes, sidewalks, bus stops and a cross walk.
To be completed December 2019


Get ahead of traffic

Giving pedestrians a head start 

The intersection at Cedar Hill Cross Road and Braefoot Road just got a little safer for pedestrians with the completion of new pedestrian head start traffic signals. 

In early September, Saanich made some changes to the traffic signal pattern to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. The new pattern includes a portion of time that is solely dedicated to pedestrians crossing Cedar Hill Cross Rd. This is known as a pedestrian head start and is a cost effective strategy that has been shown to improve pedestrian safety. It’s also the first one of it’s kind in the region!

By giving pedestrians a head start into the crosswalk, we improve their visibility to waiting drivers and in many cases allow them to finish their crossing before any conflicting cars are even permitted to proceed.

Pedestrian Head Starts are a recommendation from the Active Transportation Plan and will be installed at additional intersections throughout the District.