Saanich plans for future not based in reality

Voters should challenge candidates in the looming provincial election to provide realistic plans to force municipalities to be efficient

The Jan. 27 issue of Saanich News reports on a costly process to control the future of the area around Uptown mall in Saanich, complete with fantasies about having automobile displays to distract drivers on Blanchard speedway or closing it to prevent traffic problems. But those result from bad design of the mall despite micro-managing by a past Saanich council, and lack of policing of automobile drivers and jay-crossers.

Your Feb. 1 issue then reports on schemes and studies to manipulate people in Saanich and the CRD overall, barely mentioning housing which many such schemes impede building of.

Saanich staff reports tend to be verbose, with gratuitous content, often with errors, sometimes contradicting other Saanich planning documents, sometimes containing major contradictions within them.

Saanich’s IT department recently produced a bicycling-walking survey with a difficult-to-read user interface that doesn’t work. That survey follows Saanich’s practice of using unprofessional methods. Self-selecting respondents cannot provide input from a cross-section of residents. Yet council supports them blindly. I’m reminded of an old Russian saying: “The Czar doesn’t rule Russia, a thousand clerks do.” Different forms of collectivism, same result

I urge voters to challenge candidates in the looming provincial election to provide realistic plans to force municipalities to be efficient. The B.C. government botched its attempt to audit municipalities, which would not be effective anyway because fundamental changes in attitude are needed. Perhaps the Community Act can be changed to remove much authority from municipal councils, returning it to individuals who can make the best choice to live their lives instead of control freaks thinking they know better despite history proving otherwise.

Voters should then start preparing for the next municipal election, which is less than two years away. Quality candidates are needed, individuals who want to be stewards instead of meddlers. Most of the current  incumbents are confused, one who campaigned as a reformer is supporting staff profligacy and behaving like Donald Trump – failing to do homework, failing to think, often supporting negative views of humans.

Revolutions often result in tyranny – the case in Russia a century ago, in Cuba and in Venezuela where people are starving from the actions of a true believer. Many municipal councillors here are fans of that disproven belief system. Some others are behaving like they also believe its teachings of fixed-pie economics and drive-to-the-bottom ethics, note Donald Trump’s protectionism at the urging of labour unions, recall Saanich and Victoria councillors making false accusations against Uber.

Voters, it is up to you to think and act if you want constructive change instead of high taxes and creeping loss of freedom to live your life.

Keith Sketchley



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