The Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) bylaw in Saanich has had substantial media coverage over the past year regarding a series of perceived injustices. The bylaw was intended to preserve, protect and restore native ecosystems during the development permit application process. A review has been going on since 2015, and in 2016 Saanich developed a process for removal applications to be heard. Unfortunately, none of the properties which have been put forward to the municipality for removal have had active development permit applications. On March 6, a motion was passed to 'temporarily' suspend the bylaw pending the review of the bylaw being completed. The suspension would have a serious impact to environmental policy in Saanich, as described in the attached article.
The removal decisions from Saanich council have centered around a dangerous assertion - that environmental values must be confirmed on the ground before government can identify them as worthy of protection.