Saanich has won a Planning Institute of British Columbia award for its 2020 Climate Plan, but due to COVID-19, no funds were allocated in the 2020 budget. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich has won a Planning Institute of British Columbia award for its 2020 Climate Plan, but due to COVID-19, no funds were allocated in the 2020 budget. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

The District of Saanich has nabbed a Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) award for its 2020 Climate Plan but Coun. Ned Taylor is disappointed the District has yet to allocate funding to implement it.

Each year, PIBC recognizes the professional planning work of members across British Columbia and Yukon at an awards ceremony. Gold and silver award winners are chosen in five different categories based on municipality size.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 winners were announced online on June 23. In the category of Excellence in Policy Planning – city and urban areas, the District of Saanich took silver for its 2020 Climate Plan: 100 per cent Renewable & Resilient Saanich. The City of Vancouver nabbed gold in the category for its rainwater management plan.

PIBC rewards forward-thinking communities and it’s “a huge honour to win this,” said Mayor Fred Haynes.

Saanich’s 131-step climate plan came in response to the District’s climate emergency declaration in March 2019 and the climate targets adopted in August 2019. Haynes noted that it stands on the shoulders of the District’s previous climate plans.

But Taylor was conflicted when he heard about the award. While he’s proud of the climate plan, he’s disappointed funds were not allocated to it in 2020.

During the 2020 budget deliberations, council voted 6-3 in favour of a core budget, cutting certain funding requests in an effort to reduce tax increases due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on residents.

Non-discretionary expenses were trimmed meaning Saanich’s climate action would remain the same in 2020. Taylor, as well as Couns. Rebecca Mersereau and Zac de Vries voted against the motion as they were opposed to a budget that didn’t include accelerated climate action.

Haynes emphasized Saanich is continuing its climate action and that it’s the accelerated portion of the plan that was not funded in 2020.

At the time of the vote, de Vries called Saanich’s current climate action is inadequate and said improvements were needed to reach the municipality’s 2030 targets.

The 2020 Climate Plan “won an award because it’s truly an exceptional plan” and it’s “unfortunate” that the District has not been able to implement it, Taylor said, adding “council needs to put our money where our mouth is.”

Haynes said, depending on the budget surplus, council may be able to address the accelerated plan again later in 2020. If not, council will look at it again in 2021, he said.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Climate changeCoronavirusDistrict of Saanich

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

Just Posted

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read