Richard Leblanc stands in front of a door made by a recovering addict at Woodwynn Farms. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Richard Leblanc is no longer board member of Creating Homefulness Society, says Central Saanich mayor

Woodwynn founder wants more time, but board is motivated to sell

Updated with comment from Mayor Ryan Windsor on Feb. 16 at 2:48 p.m.

Richard Leblanc wants more time to save Woodwynn Farms, but there is tension between him and the society that owns the property.

On Tuesday, Leblanc filed documents in the B.C. Supreme Court indicating his intent to meet with the Creating Homefulness Society’s board of directors and the original buyers of the farm to try and work something out. He asked for the full amount of time to pay off the mortgage, and a further extension if necessary.

In a further development, Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said in a follow-up interview that Leblanc was no longer a board member of the Creating Homefulness Society. In December, Central Saanich council resolved to meet with the Creating Homefulness Society’s board in the new year, and the meeting did occur. Leblanc said it was mainly to inform council that a major announcement was imminent, which ended up being the foreclosure announcement on Jan. 18.

However, Mayor Windsor said Leblanc was not present at that January meeting with the District. The Peninsula News Review has reached out to Leblanc on this issue, which was not discussed during an initial interview late yesterday afternoon.

Teri DuTemple and Nigel Beattie, two board members of the Creating Homefulness Society, have not yet responded to the PNR’s request for comment.

In an interview late yesterday, Leblanc said there was some “back and forth” between him, the board, and BC Housing about how to go forward, but “frankly things were certainly tense at a board level with all the pressure to sell.” He said he submitted a response to petition because of time pressure.

“I think the board is quite motivated to be done with it and sell the farm, and I’m quite motivated to find a solution,” he said.

He said BC Housing told him they wanted to meet and explore some options. The Agricultural Land Commission has twice denied their application to build more housing on the farm, but Leblanc said they would find solution that “would not require overruling or going around or even applying for any housing permits.” He said they could look at other properties in the neighbourhood that could be available for housing.

“We have an indication that we have a funder from BC Housing Authority that they’re looking to find a way to support us and get us through our mortgage foreclosure and housing issues.”

Leblanc said that if the board of the Creating Homefulness Society were to object, he said he would respect their wishes, saying “I don’t have a veto power.”

Leblanc said he also had a meeting with many senior provincial officials, including Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy, her deputy minister Doug Hughes and high-level staff from BC Housing and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Leblanc said he has not spoken to the philanthropists who purchased the farm in some time and does not know their feelings on the matter. However, he has said there has been many letters of support from local residents written to the province and the District of Central Saanich.

The farm market is still open right now, but Leblanc said foot traffic has been down recently, “in part because of the negative media out there, so a lot of uncertainty from folks.”

Leblanc said he received a comment saying a court date would happen “in the next few weeks” but no specific date was set.

Correction: An earlier version of the story stated that in December 2017, Central Saanich council resolved to meet with Richard Leblanc in the new year. In fact, Central Saanich council resolved to meet with the board of the Creating Homefulness Society. Further, Richard Leblanc is still executive director of the society, but is no longer a board member. This story will be updated as the situation develops.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Two ducks, five bucks’ for annual rubber duckie race in Bowker Creek

Oak Bay High Environment Club host event Saturday in celebration of vital Oak Bay creek

Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

Mayor appreciates 12-storey structure’s proximity to naval base, graving dock and Seaspan

Victoria beaches 1,560 pounds lighter after Surfrider cleanup

200 people came out to clean the beach on Earth Day

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Amalgamation Yes hosting citizen’s assembly info meeting Wednesday at Vic High

Mayors of Victoria and Saanich will be on hand to give updates to residents

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

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

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read