I would like to respond to two recent letters, one by Nathalie Chambers, “Courtesy, respect paramount at Saanich council,” (Dec. 27, 2017); and another by Sylvia Walsh, “Opponents can’t accept EDPA decision,” (Dec. 29, 2017).
What both letters indicate is a powerful failure of public process. The EDPA has been on the Saanich council books for approximately five years and was rescinded on Nov. 6 without a replacement. What we are left with as a result are harsh feelings between Saanich neighbours and toward mayor and council.
My feeling is that when we don’t respect and protect sensitive and endangered native ecosystems, we are all losers. When a replacement for the EDPA is created (one can only hope this will be in the near future, as surely there is nothing left to debate – every rock and stone having already been uncovered), that it will apply to all occupiers of land in the municipality, not just private landowners. In the past 10 years, we have steadily been losing tree cover of all kinds, as well as sensitive and endangered ecosystems, for more concrete and pavement. As we know, with the effects of climate change, we will be experiencing hotter, drier summers, and more pavement and fewer trees will further accentuate this.
In the new year, I would ask that as citizens of Saanich, we all do our part to promote more harmonious and healthy relations with each other, and with the natural ecosystems that support us.