(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council adopts new procedure bylaw, changes committee of the whole business items

Consent agenda introduced, land use matters reassigned to council meetings for efficiency, staff say

Saanich councillors have unanimously adopted new guidelines to streamline meetings and align with best practices for municipal governments across B.C.

On May 11, council received a report from Angila Bains, manager of legislative services, presenting the new council procedure bylaw and committee of the whole terms of reference, and explaining the changes – based on recommendations from council early in their term.

The bylaw dictates how council governs itself and is based on the best practices from across B.C. to ensure efficiency, Bains said. The new bylaw was several years in the making and staff conducted a full legal review to ensure it aligned with the Community Charter and the province’s guide for municipal councils.

READ ALSO: New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Some changes were small – such as making councillors’ speaking time at both council meetings and committee of the whole consistent – while others may be more noticeable. The addition of a consent agenda will allow non-controversial business items to be grouped together and voted on all at once to save time. If residents or councillors want an item in the consent agenda debated separately, it can be pulled out.

Council also agreed to amend what matters come to committee of the whole and do away with the “mini public hearings” that were taking place.

Council meetings are where decisions are made and committee is meant for less formal, in-depth discussions, Bains said. Now, only long-term planning, policy development, budget deliberations, zoning and land development strategies and other matters that require in-depth consideration and community input will come to committee of the whole. Land-use matters such as rezoning applications will be dealt with at council meetings.

READ ALSO: Saanich adopts 5.76% property tax hike for 2021

Bains said there is no legal requirement to send these applications to committee of the whole and doing so was prolonging the process. In the past, the applications would come to the committee of the whole, receive input, be sent back for changes, then come to council for first reading and be sent to a public hearing.

Now, the applications will come to a council meeting then go to a public hearing for input. Saanich residents will still have the opportunity to weigh in on these matters both at council meetings and at public hearings, Bains said.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Saanich

Just Posted

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read