Transparency tested with APC membership

Advisory Planning Commission membership should be spread across neighbourhoods, interests and qualifications

Those elected to Oak Bay council had pledged transparency and public engagement during the recent election. Four councillors confirmed these values when they voted at the meeting on April 20 to have the intended advisory planning group constituted as a commission, under the rules of the Local Government Act, rather than as a committee.

Now their commitment to transparency and public inclusion will be necessary in the implementation of the official community plan. They will be tested again as the membership of the Advisory Planning Commission (APC) is structured.

While the act clearly intends to encourage resident participation (two-thirds of APC members) and limits political influence by council and staff (none allowed), there remains ample room to frustrate the intent of the legislation.

For example, those who put their self- interest ahead of the public good need only persuade the selection committee of council that they would be suitable members. It is not a reasonable assumption that Oak Bay as a community would have its best interests served by APC members being developers, speculators, builders, architects or realtors, notwithstanding their residency.

However, this industry could be consulted as a potential source of information: they do not need to be commission members to provide their perspective and input.

To ensure this outcome even more forcefully, an effective selection process must be brought forward  which taps a broad cross-section of the community’s seasoned and committed residents. This could be accomplished by spreading membership across neighbourhoods, interests and qualifications, with diversity along with a minimum residency period being objectives. The ambience of Oak Bay – its space, trees and gardens – must not be traded away.

Graham Ross

Oak Bay


Just Posted

Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

VICTORIA FRINGE FEST: There’s always something new to discover on stage

33rd annual live theatre festival has numerous styles and topics to choose from

Langford veteran rehab program takes multi-tiered approach to treating pain

Clinic ‘bio-psycho-social approach to healing’ from Victoria to the West Shore earlier this year

Residential construction activity slows across Greater Victoria

Vancouver Island Construction Association warns of ‘mixed outlook’

PHOTOS: India Mela celebrates culture, dance and food

The annual downtown event brought culture and fun together

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Most Read