Again, it's the contradiction re: espousing certain faux-ideals for decades and then suddenly flipping the switch. And in this case they didn't just start turning a blind eye here and there. They allowed (encouraged) an inundation of these plain panels on several major new buildings. All of that relentless blather about architectural identity and a supposed commitment to resist widespread trends and generic styles... it was all just hot air. Victoria has gone all-in with this.
And the windows things isn't just about how few there are and how small they are. It's also about the style of the windows. Windows are huge contributors to the character of a building. If the windows look generic and basic then the building will also look generic and basic. If you repeat this formula on multiple buildings then congratulations, the entire city will begin to look generic and basic.
The windows are another one of those aspects that any legitimate design review process would be jumping all over. Wherever windows are going to be visible to the street or otherwise very obvious, they must have some personality. On the back side that few people would see, fine, go with something plain and simple. But all over? It's crazy.