LETTER: Oversight needed to protect public interest

The Saanich News did not provide some important background regarding the issues of the Saanich EDPA Bylaw.

READ ALSO: Key critic of Saanich’s EDPA loses status as professional biologist

No other jurisdiction in the province protects fully developed properties in an EDPA as sensitive ecosystems. The implementation of the EDPA was flawed, using mapping that was never ground checked and verified. UVIC Environmental Law’s Deborah Curran has stated in her Green Bylaws Toolkit that a successful EDPA requires accurate, ground truthed mapping.

Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA Society (SCRES) was never against a properly implemented EDPA Bylaw. Ted Lea was a consultant to SCRES (not a member) providing significant advice on how to improve biodiversity in Saanich. He worked with other biologists and experts on developing this advice. The College ignored this important work by Ted Lea.

It appears that the College of Applied Biology had decided to persecute Ted Lea without doing its due diligence. Other registered professional biologists also provided reports on some of the 72 applications to Saanich, and they came to the same conclusions as Ted Lea. The College of Biology did not contact these other biologists. The College did not contact SCRES to confirm if Mr. Lea was in fact a member of SCRES, yet found him guilty for being a member. The College did not properly investigate the complaints against Mr. Lea and in fact never spoke directly with Mr. Lea. The College spent in excess of $150,000 to determine in the end that Ted Lea’s reports were probably correct.

Therefore, if Ted Lea’s reports were correct, what does this indicate about Saanich staff’s reports to council recommending they not accept Ted Lea’s reports, especially when Saanich staff (also a registered professional biologist) did not attend most of these properties to ground truth and confirm whether they in fact had a sensitive ecosystem? The College did not consider all of the above.

Ted Lea, a highly regarded expert in his field, followed the law and the assessment guidelines given to him by Saanich staff to follow, and the College admitted that his results were correct. The decision of the College appears to indicate that the wording of the bylaw and the wording of the assessment methods are not important to them. With respect to the College, this cannot possibly be seen as serving the public interest.

We truly need a new level of provincial oversight and audit of self-governing professional bodies to ensure protection of the public interest.

Anita Bull

President, Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA Society

Just Posted

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Oak Bay United preparing entirely new development application

Three scenarios being considered for Granite Street redesign

Province overrules View Royal; plans to build handyDART facility

View Royal Mayor calls province’s actions “heavy handed” and “unusual”

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

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

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Most Read