This month, Saanich councillors will consider separate challenges to recent decisions around Saanich’s search for a new environmental policy framework.
The challenges — coming from Irma de la Verde and Katherine Whitworth — concern a series of motions approved unanimously by councillors during council’s committee-of-whole-meeting on July 8 around the Environmental Policy Framework. That meeting itself continued a meeting that had first started June 10.
Both challenges, both lengthy and detailed, broadly claim among other points that Coun. Karen Harper should have not allowed an amendment to the original motion first tabled on June 10 and still live on the floor when councillors met on July 8.
Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said earlier that councillors will hear the appeals. “After hearing an appeal, [council] may either confirm its earlier decision or refer the question to a [committee-of-the-whole] meeting at least one week later.”
Harper said earlier last month that she is confident in the procedural validity of her actions, noting her familiarity with Robert’s Rules of Order and past professional experience in chairing meetings.
Coun. Judy Brownoff had raised questions about the procedural fairness of the July 8 meeting after it, but did not challenge Harper at the time.
Brownoff acknowledged this aspect, but noted that the amended motion also paved the path for interim measures to protect bio-diversity, as Saanich continues to work towards comprehensive conservation measures.
Council will consider the challenges Aug. 12.