Coun. Nathalie Chambers says the current council needs to acknowledge that previous council rescinded the EDPA on the basis of “faulty science” and calls on Saanich to issue an apology to a staff member (Submitted).

Saanich councillor says residents owed a bylaw like the rescinded EDPA

Coun. Nathalie Chambers also says council needs to apologize to a staff member

A Saanich councillor said residents are “owed” an environmental development permit area bylaw like the one that the previous council had rescinded on “faulty science,” an aspect that deserves formal and immediate recognition.

“The science used to rescind the EDPA has been proven to be based on faulty scientific process, and unusable,” said Coun. Nathalie Chambers in remarks to the Saanich News. “Staff was bypassed and the professional registered biologist who ‘volunteered their services’ has now lost [his] licence.”

With this comment, Chambers alludes to a recent ruling by the College of Applied Biology against Ted Lea, a critic of the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) bylaw that the previous council eventually rescinded in late 2017.

RELATED: Key critic of Saanich’s EDPA loses status as professional biologist

The College of Applied Biology (CAB) last month permanently rescinded the membership of Ted Lea, a key player in the opposition to the EDPA. The decision flows out of the college’s decision to discipline Lea for conduct in violation of the college’s code of ethics stemming from his role in writing reports on behalf of property owners, who objected to the EDPA.

Saanich must also recognize that the previous council acted contrary to the recommendations of the so-called Diamond Head report that the municipality had commissioned. While it recommended several improvements, it also recommended that Saanich should leave the legislation in place.

“I say acknowledgement of these facts is [an] immediate action,” she said.

Chambers also said in her comments to the Saanich News that Adriane Pollard, Saanich’s manager of environmental services, should be commended.

“She [Pollard] deserves and apology and in my opinion an award,” said Chambers.

Pollard has found herself on the receiving end of criticism, including from Lea himself, for what her critics called mistakes in the application of the EDPA and her perceived conflict of interest as the municipality’s representative on the Garry oak Ecosystems Recovery Team.

In 2015, Lea actually apologized to Pollard for what then-chief administrative officer Andy Laidlaw called “inappropriate and offensive” comments by Lea towards Pollard.

According to Chambers, the college’s ruling against Lea vindicates Pollard, something that the District needs to acknowledge through the public record.

Chambers for her part tried to achieve that goal during the last regular council meeting, but interventions by acting mayor Coun. Colin Plant on procedural grounds eventually limited Chambers to a more general statement in support of staff.

This discussion unfolded against Saanich’s ongoing search for an EDPA replacement. Council will resume that search July 8 when it picks up debate around the proposed Environmental Policy Framework that appears under the label of Natural Saanich.

RELATED: Saanich councillor warns of ‘torturous experience’ as they consider replacing EDPA

That future debate has since gained in significance after council asked staff to bring back a report for the July 8 meeting into ways that would allow Saanich to update its general development permit guidelines around climate change and biodiversity.

The public had heard earlier that it could take Saanich up to three years to develop and deliver Natural Saanich, whereas Saanich could move faster to achieve the same goals through the development permit guidelines process.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Saanich explores options for adding shelters to parks

Covered areas would encourage safe outdoor socializing during rainy season

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Customs House construction site in Victoria

Investigation continues into the circumstance of man’s death

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read