District of Saanich | 2018-2022 | Mayor and council general discussion
Posted 08 June 2023 - 04:12 AM
In response to the online hate, Plant posted a shot of his feet in the rainbow-coloured sneakers he usually wears in Pride parades.
“I believe that Saanich has done the right thing,” Plant said. “Really, some people are overblowing this.”
The online pushback against providing menstrual products in men’s bathrooms is disappointing but not surprising for Leah Shumka, the University of Victoria’s associate director of equity and human rights and gender studies instructor.
“Folks that are railing against woke culture are certainly here in Canada,” Shumka said. “They see expanding the gender binary and thinking about creating inclusive spaces for trans folks as sort of woke culture gone too far.”
Canada is “pretty inclusive of trans people, certainly at a legislative level,” Shumka said. But more can be done to create better spaces for trans people, she said.
“It’s everything from building design, space design, and thinking about all the ways that we gender the world around us,” she said. “We are a bit stuck on the bathroom conversation.”
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 08 June 2023 - 04:12 AM.
Posted 12 June 2023 - 08:32 AM
The attorney general’s May 17 civil filing accuses Guy Gondor, Saanich’s IT manager until Feb. 17, 2022, of copying the files and sharing them with his son in connection to a neighbour dispute. The court petition calls for an order demanding the copied items – which contain hundreds of files with private information – be returned or destroyed.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 12 June 2023 - 08:32 AM.
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Posted 11 September 2023 - 08:10 AM
Saanich transparency must improve
KPMG Report forecasts $1.028 billion in capital expenditures by 2031
Residents and business owners in Saanich may want to start following the money.
An alarming 2022 KPMG document with the bland title ‘District of Saanich Long-term Financial Plan Development’ has just come to public light.
It reveals that total capital expenditures between 2022 and 2031 are forecast to be $1.028 billion, that’s billion with a “b,” based on estimates as late as 2020-21.
This estimate may be even higher now given the stiff increases in labour and material costs the last couple of years.
It’s an unpleasant surprise for most taxpayers. And in light of the capital costs coming, fiscal prudence and frivolous expenditure of funds take on added meaning with taxpayers.
The bulk of this $1 billion investment for deteriorating infrastructure, forecasted between 2026 and 2029, is anticipated to be financed through the tax levy, reserves and the issuance of additional debt.
Included is an estimated as much as $212 million for an upgraded public works yard and $44.6 million to replacement for Fire Hall No. 2.
There appears to be little effort by the last council to inform Saanich taxpayers about this key 53-page KPMG report.
The previous Saanich council didn’t see fit to issue a press release when the report was discussed at council on Mar. 14, seven months prior to the fall civic election. The document is not posted on the district website, the documents library, the strategic documents or the financial library.
Of note, the current council released a preliminary report in July on an asset management strategy under development.
It found the current replacement value of assets has more than doubled to $4.7 billion mainly because of inflation. Based on the estimated useful life of the assets, the annual replacement funding is now $86 million, more than double that of 2019.
In our view, local politicians must be more forthright about the financial future of a municipality. If they want ‘public engagement’ and ‘transparency’ to mean anything beyond public relations niceties, it shouldn’t be a game of hide-and-seek.
The current Saanich council knows about the huge infrastructure deficit and financial demands facing the municipality based on the KPMG Report and its recent management asset strategy work.
If these reports were more widely circulated, it wouldn't come as much of a shock to taxpayers.
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