EDPA: December update

The Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA Society has been created. A board of directors was elected by a group of “founders” who donated money and time in October and November. Thank you all for your support.

Anita Bull was elected President of the Society. Other board members include Adam Orser, Lee Green, Larry Murphy, Peter Rantucci, Chris Phillips and Matthew Green – all property owners in Saanich.

The initial money that was raised has been used to fund a number of activities that lead up to the Town Hall meeting in November. Flyers were printed, delivered and mailed, signs posted and a new website that will be launched in January, has been created.

While things may have seemed quiet since the last town hall, let us assure you that a great deal of “behind the scenes work” has been done and is ongoing including dialogue with most of our elected officials in Saanich.

2nd TOWN HALL MEETING  –  Andy Laidlaw has confirmed the 2nd Town Hall Meeting is to take place the last week of January 2016.  The exact date and venue have yet to be confirmed.

We need to have a very strong showing at the next town hall as we did at the first. We encourage and need you to attend this 2nd Town Hall and speak to Mayor and Council. We heard several people say they didn’t get up to speak because someone before them said what they intended to say. Saanich staff recorded not only what people had to say, but how many people had something to say.  We need the strength of numbers, even if it is only to get up and say “I don’t have a sensitive ecosystem on my property, I want my property removed from the EDPA.” PLEASE – IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU SPEAK AT THIS TOWN HALL.

Several weeks ago Mayor Atwell said on CFAX  “what surprised him most about the 1st TOWN HALL was that more than 400 people showed up in miserable weather to express their dissatisfaction with the EDPA Bylaw.” Saanich staff had told Mayor and Council that only 20 residents were upset with the Bylaw.  We need to continue to show Mayor and Council how they have been misinformed and misled by staff with regards to the EDPA.

Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA Society has worked to communicate the negative impacts of this bylaw on property owners that was snuck in without our knowing in 2012.   Mayor and Council have now heard that we do not accept the bylaw as it is.  The bylaw is not working for the environment or the residents and it needs to be amended and rebuilt.

With your support, we believe we can remove this bylaw ‘s impact on your property. We want to see Saanich encourage, not punish landowners in order to truly protect our areas of highest biodiversity.  This includes neglected Saanich Parks and others –  not just the 2400 property owners that were arbitrarily selected in 2012. We believe this can be done while maintaining everyone’s property rights and values.

There is lots more work to be done, but with your continued support we can be a partner in a solution that will work for all of us.

We will be sending you an update early January

Best wishes for this holiday season.

Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA Society

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