Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes would like to see Saanich join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Development Institute (Black Press File).

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes would like to see Saanich join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Development Institute (Black Press File).

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes wants municipality to join chamber, Urban Development Institute

Haynes also wants each member of council to receive a $500 budget for professional development

Mayor Fred Haynes wants Saanich to join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Urban Development Institute (UDI). He also wants Saanich to give each council member a personal budget of $500 for professional development and networking.

“It’s linked to the professional development of the council,” said Haynes, of his proposals, which the rest of council will take up at its next meeting Jan. 7, 2019. “By becoming members, we have greater access to the professional development programs that these two groups put on,” he said. “This would better equip council with the knowledge and understanding of these sectors.”

RELATED: Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes sees plenty of opportunity in cannabis industry

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce represents some 1,400 businesses and organizations of various kinds and sizes as the second largest chamber in British Columbia. The 750 members of the Urban Development Institute represent all aspects of the development industry and its related professions, from private developers to local governments and agencies.

“By becoming member, we have greater access to the professional development programs that these two groups put on,” he said. “This would better equip council with the knowledge [and] understanding of these sectors.”

Haynes said joining the chamber is in part about exposing council to the local business community.

RELATED: Saanich agrees to raise property tax revenues by 3.53 per cent

“Right now, we are getting 78 per cent of our taxes from local residents,” he said. “We get 22 per cent from commerce and retail. We want to change that ratio. My campaign as mayor was about changing that ratio. Several of the councillors have talked about changing that ratio. We do that better from a position of knowledge.”

Stated policy priorities of the UDI, meanwhile, include measures to improve the supply of housing (especially rental housing) through measures that include faster approval processes, higher density and community amenity contributions, with an eye towards concentrating development near public transit nodes.

RELATED: Saanich voters send Haynes to mayor’s office, reject political slate

Haynes said Saanich said senior staff receive professional development as part of their contract and it is only reasonable that councillors “charged with very weighty decisions” receive the same opportunity for professional development.

“We understand that council members go to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), and the Association of Vancouver Island Municipalities and Coastal Communities (AVICC), and there is very important, rich and useful conversations there,” he said. “[But] it is within the peer group, and the opportunity we get from the chamber and from the UDI is local and on-the-ground.”

Haynes added joining these organizations is not expensive. Saanich’s annual membership for UDI would be $1,100, and just over $3,500 for the chamber of commerce.

Saanich plans to combine these membership by granting each councillor a budget of $500 for professional development.

Haynes said the current policy requiring councillors to ask for prior permission creates an obstacle.

“I think we should trust those councillors to make their decision on what kind of workshop they need to fill their information and education needs,” he said. “For example, I’d have to ask the [chief administrative officer Paul Thorkelsson], ‘can I go to a luncheon at the chamber or UDI?’ Now I have my budget of $500, and I can use it as I wish. But I’m accountable at the end of the year. I think it is very positive thing, and I’m optimistic that council would approve it.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Most Read