Saanich Spotlight - Summer 2019


Welcome to the first issue of our new community newsletter!

We launched a newsletter with the intention to share more information with our citizens. There is so much good work happening across Saanich with our residents, community groups and municipal departments. We want you to know about it!

Newsletter items will include project and initiative updates; upcoming events; Council decisions; and public participation opportunities amongst others.

It’s hard to believe Council is eight months into our term. I’m grateful to work with a group of such bright and responsive individuals who care so deeply about Saanich and their responsibilities to our residents.

We continue to work collaboratively on a number of important initiatives that affect the daily lives of so many, including affordable housing, climate change, active transportation, local food, agriculture, and traffic safety. We also aim to put a strong focus on economic development and diversification as well as how to help reduce the tax burden on residents. All of these initiatives will be woven into our upcoming 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Another large piece of work is defining the joint terms of reference for the citizens’ assembly to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of possible amalgamation with the City of Victoria.

In June, building upon previous environmental leadership in support of global nuclear disarmament, Saanich signed ICAN’s Cities to join the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Secondly, as you know, we are working to raise awareness of the damage to the environment caused by single-use plastics.

Over the month of July we invite Saanich residents to take part in our “Pulling Together” events, which encourage volunteers to help remove invasive species and restore the natural area of our local parks. More information on how to join can be found on our website.

We are also looking forward to continuing community conversations on affordable housing.

On behalf of Saanich Council and staff, I wish you a safe and fun-filled summer! See you at Music in the Park, Saanich Strawberry Festival, the Gorge Canada Day Picnic, or one of our other great community events.

Mayor Fred Haynes


Top ten things to do in Saanich this summer

The weather is heating up but that doesn’t mean your list of summer activities has to be stuck in the winter months. Here’s a rundown of some options you can consider adding to your summer calendar, and let’s be honest - who doesn’t love a top ten list?!

  1. Explore rural Saanich. Think picturesque roads, beautiful scenery and the odd rural café. Need we say more?
  2. Shop local. Online is great, but shopping locally is where it’s at! Saanich features everything from farmers’ markets to local artisans to specialty stores. There’s something for everyone.
  3. Check out some awesome art. Have you visited the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill lately? The centre features regularly changing exhibitions. There’s even a few displays at Municipal Hall.
  4. Get busy at one of our summer camps. Whether you’re young or young-at-heart, there’s a class or camp for everyone. View our Active Living Guide at to learn more about what camps we offer.
  5. Check out the view from the top…of Mount Doug that is. Did you know that Mount Douglas Park boasts some of Saanich’s most wonderful views? See for yourself, but please remember to take only pictures and memories with you.
  6. Become a history buff and sharpen your knowledge of our community history at the Saanich Archives, located next to G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre.
  7. Get involved! Whether it’s volunteering, participating in a public engagement event or simply checking out a Council meeting online, there are lots of ways to have an impact on your community.
  8. Play a round or pop in for a snack at the golf course. You don’t have to be an avid golfer to enjoy what the Cedar Hill Golf Course has to offer. Did you know we also book events too?
  9. Visit our scenic horticulture displays at the Gorge Waterway and Outbridge Park or Playfair Park with its Garry oak meadow.
  10. Cool off on a hot day. Splash around in the spray park at Beckwith Park or hit the beach! Cadboro-Gyro is a favourite.


Take the phase 2 climate survey!

The 100% Renewable and Resilient Saanich Climate Plan is taking shape, and needs your input. Visit to take the survey to let us know what you think about:

  • Electric bicycle rebates
  • Financing for renewable energy home upgrades, prioritizing low and medium income households
  • Rainwater collection and greywater recovery systems requirements in new construction
  • Cooling and clean air refuges in Saanich facilities

And many, many more draft actions for reducing our climate impact and adapting to a changing climate.


Try the Saanich Carbon Calculator

Ever wondered how big your personal climate impact is, and which choices result in the best reductions?

The new Carbon Calculator takes the mystery out of your personal climate impact in transportation, home energy, food, and consumption categories. Once you know your personal profile, you can enter different scenarios to know what actions make the most difference to your personal carbon emissions, including upgrading your home, using different transportation options, vacationing locally, and choosing low-carbon foods.

Some of the short-term actions you can take include:


  • Bike, walk, or bus to work
  • Vacation locally
  • Avoid food waste
  • Upgrade to a heat pump, electric car, or electric bike


  • Conserve water
  • Install high-efficiency water fixtures
  • Plant drought-tolerant species
  • Harvest rainwater
  • Reclaim greywater

Try the new Saanich Carbon Calculator at


And the award goes to... Saanich!

Over the last few months, Saanich has been recognized with several awards in a variety of departments.

Financial statements and planning

For the 12th consecutive year, Saanich’s Finance Department received the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for our 2017 financial statements. For the 10th consecutive year, Saanich received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from GFOA for its 2018 to 2022 Financial Plan.

The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Moving Saanich Forward

Saanich’s Active Transportation Plan—Moving Saanich Forward—was selected for a Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) silver award in the category of excellence in policy planning - city and urban areas. Each year, the PIBC present awards for excellence in planning. Moving Saanich Forward was also selected as one of the top 10 Best New Bike Projects in Canada by the Canada Bikes Organization.

Through the Moving Saanich Forward project, Saanich worked with the community to develop a vision along with policies and actions to guide the development of safe, attractive and convenient active transportation options for people of all ages and abilities over the next 30 years. This project showcased Saanich’s commitment to improving walking, biking and other active mobility options through the creation of the Active Transportation Plan.

Life-saving acquatic staff

Four Saanich aquatic staff were honoured with Vital Link awards from BC Emergency Health Services for their quick and skillful life-saving actions at a cardiac arrest emergency. Current aquatic employees Katie Bowers and Ceilidh Robertson-Jones and previous employees Jeff Harris and Wade Thoreson were nominated by paramedic Mike Sugimoto for their heroism in rushing to the aid of a patron when he collapsed due to cardiac arrest at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre.

Ted Frechette was in the weight room when he suddenly collapsed in an apparent cardiac arrest. Prior to the arrival of the paramedics, the recreation centre’s lifeguards Bowers and Robertson-Jones rushed to his side and began to perform CPR. With help from Harris and Thoreson, the team also used the centre’s automated external defibrilator (AED) to deliver one to two shocks and were able to successfully resuscitate him.

The Vital Link Award is presented by BC Emergency Health Services to honour the skillful actions of bystanders (in this incident employees) at a cardiac arrest emergency.