Saanich seeks cash from Capital Regional District to preserve Kings Park

Discussion set for CRD’s next Parks and Environment Committee meeting on Nov. 27

The Capital Regional District (CRD) will debate whether to give funding to Saanich to preserve Kings Park as a green space.

Kings Park has long been a community fixture, not just for Saanich residents but for residents from all over Greater Victoria.

READ MORE: $2.7M Save Kings Park fundraiser kicks off Sept. 14

A CRD representative said Tuesday the motion is expected to be debated at the next CRD Parks and Environment Committee meeting on Nov. 27. At this meeting, the committee will debate whether to recommend the board set aside the money for Kings Park. The public are welcome to attend these meetings, and anybody can register to speak in front of the board at the meeting as a delegation.

On Monday night, Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor won the unanimous support of council to endorse his submission to the CRD. Taylor said council’s approval will help give weight to the submission he made to the CRD on Oct. 23 asking them to help fund the preservation of the park.

Taylor said many members of the public turned out for the council meeting on Monday. One member of the public shared her lifelong connection with the park – as a patient at Royal Jubilee and as a resident of both Saanich and Oak Bay.

“This place is being used by patients, staff and visitors at Royal Jubilee, as well as residents from all over Greater Victoria, not just Saanich,” Taylor said, “I think that shows this property is a great regional asset and I hope this land can be preserved and protected for future generations.”

READ MORE: Saanich explores potential of unused land behind Jubilee hospital, connects to Hydro field

Saanich resident and park frequenter Melissa Hyland said the park has been a sanctuary and a place of healing for her and her son since they moved to the area on Oct. 1. Hyland said they fell prey to a rental scam that also affected five other families and left them without a place to live and down a $4,000 deposit.

Saanich resident Melissa Hyland and her dog Butters enjoy a mild and moderately sunny day at Kings Park on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

“We’re still settling in, but it’s been really nice,” Hyland said. She also said she, her son, and their dog Butters often see woodpeckers, barred owls and other wildife during their daily promenades around the park.

“We see about 50 people a day here walking through, lots of surgeons on their break,” Hyland said, “Butters thinks he’s a landowner now.”

Hyland said she is interested in seeing the park preserved as a green space, and will be looking into speaking at or attending the CRD committee meeting on Nov. 27.

To register to speak at the CRD Parks and Environment Committee meeting on Nov. 27, follow the prompts on the CRD’s website. A printable registration form is also available. Requests must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. two calendar days before the meeting. The meeting will be held in the 6th Floor Boardroom at 625 Fisgard St., Victoria, at 10 a.m.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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