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LETTER: Saanich needs to strengthen local area plans

The Official Community Plan was a point of contention between Saanich council and residents at a public hearing on Tuesday, April 30. (Mark Page/News Staff)

I am writing in response to the April 30 public hearing in Saanich. Like others, I am not in favour of the Official Community Plan going forward in its current form. Both the local area plans and the OCP are riddled with inconsistencies and lack accuracy.

It’s hard to believe that the draft version of the OCP has no environmental framework, nor does it include the State of Biodiversity Strategy or Urban Forest Report.

I heard Mayor Dean Murdock say that trees and the environment will be protected from development. How can this be true when we are already seeing hundreds of trees taken out of the Saanich tree canopy for subdivisions?

After reviewing the presentations again, one thing becomes very clear, there is a need for accountability and transparency from our elected representatives in Saanich. Trust has been lost. It’s time for our elected officials to stop seeing themselves as ‘the children of the province.’ They better start behaving like adults with responsibilities to their voters and constituents. It’s time to strengthen local area plans, not ‘de-couple’ them from the Official Community Plan.

Deborah Dickson