Saanich council plan for public input needs public input

Monday night meeting allows public input on how to open up council

Saanich council is inviting the public to participate and speak about increasing public participation on Monday night.

This week, council reviewed a Jan. 23 report from staff that studied 31 B.C. municipalities and charted the varying opportunities for public participation at each council.

Staff discovered that Saanich and Oak Bay are the only municipalities without an opportunity to make formal public presentations at council, although Saanich does allow public comment on agenda items during committee of the whole meetings and at committees.

Discussion of the report was bumped to next Monday’s committee of the whole meeting to allow for more feedback, said Coun. Colin Plant, who put forward the motion to study how other municipalities allow for public input.

“There was a belief that because the report had only become available as of Friday, it was too fast of a turnaround to allow for full input and feedback from the public,” Plant said. “I believe that council will be open to allowing for more input from the public input at council meetings. The challenge will be for council to find a balance in time.”

Council’s absence of public input opportunity is glaring when compared to the “environmental scan” of other municipalities.

Plant wants to see the current rules, which do not allow for public input at council meetings nor for general comments, to expand to include speaking to items outside a public hearing, as well as a time for general comments or questions, in addition to formal presentations and delegations.

“I’m hoping council will make provisions for all three,” Plant said.

Generally in other municipalities, delegations can speak on anything once approved through a written request, while the entirety of the delegation period is limited to either one hour, or to presentations by a maximum of three to four parties per council session. As well, presentations are usually allotted a maximum time range of five to 15 minutes.

Residents are invited to speak for up to five minutes at Monday’s discussion or submit written correspondence to clerksec@saanich.ca by 4 p.m. Monday to be included. Council is held at Saanich Municipal Hall at 7:30 p.m.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Victoria Classic Boat Festival cancelled due to safety concerns

Organizers say Inner Harbour doesn’t provide enough space for physical distancing

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Most Read