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

Study shows Oak Bay’s dwindling population is rapidly aging

Housing Needs Study says Oak Bay facing a shortfall of 349 bedrooms

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

Last full moon of the decade peaks at 12:12 on 12/12

December full moon also referred to as the cold moon

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Retooled Oak Bay hoops team starts strong

‘Not the tallest,’ but Oak Bay are off to big start

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

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

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read