Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), said the association did not want to share member emails with Saanich because of privacy concerns. (Black Press File)

Greater Victoria builders and Saanich embroiled in email feud

VRBA says members don’t want Saanich ‘spam’ over new building code

The association representing builders in Greater Victoria first received, then rejected a request from the District of Saanich to share member emails with the municipality, so it could inform association members about the introduction of a new building code.

“We protect our members’ privacy,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders’ Association (VRBA), when asked about the reasons for the group’s refusal to share the emails.

The dispute came to light when VRBA tweeted about it on May 14. “Members don’t want govt/political spam,” said the association in a tweet with a link informing readers about federal anti-spam legislation.

Kelsie McLeod, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said the municipality’s building inspection and bylaw division reached out to the VRBA as part of its “continued effort to keep communication channels open and inform stakeholders of important changes.” In this case, staff wanted to let VRBA know that the BC Energy Step Code comes into effect in Saanich on June 1, 2019, she said.

“The District of Saanich requested to obtain contact information for the VRBA members so that we could distribute information about the change,” said McLeod. “Alternatively, we requested that the VRBA distribute information to their members.”

RELATED: Report recommends new building code for Saanich

VRBA has publicly opposed the introduction, citing a number of concerns, including increased liability. VRBA has also publicly argued that the code — which is optional — will increase the cost of building.

The code consists of five steps designed to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings with the stated goal of making all new buildings by 2032 net-zero energy ready. Net-zero energy ready buildings are buildings that could (with additional measures) generate enough energy onsite to meet their own needs.

Edge said the association’s 200 members, including more than 100 builders, are aware of the code, which the association will continue to oppose.

“That’s a concept Saanich doesn’t appear to comprehend,” he said.

This back-and-forth adds to the list of public disagreements between the largest municipality in Greater Victoria and the association representing regional home builders. VRBA’s twitter account has not shied away from criticizing Saanich, often comparing it and the City of Victoria negatively to West Shore communities, especially but not exclusively around issues like development cost charges and development permit processing times.

District officials have rejected these charges.

Like many public disputes with a social media component, involved parties often disagree about the tone of the disagreement, and this case appears no different.

VRBA said in its tweet that Saanich was “indignant” about VRBA’s answer, a claim McLeod rejects.

“In our view, the nature of the communication was positive,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Oak Bay dog walk benefits guide dogs

Two more walks set for Sunday in Victoria and Colwood

Coastline serves up a feast of fiddlers in Oak Bay

Local Juno Award winner musical director for ensemble

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Young man on Vancouver Island dies after losing control of ATV

Crash claimed the life of a 23-year-old south of Nanaimo over the long weekend

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Most Read