Author Archives: Dean Murdock

Thank you, Saanich!!

On April 3, I announced my decision not to seek a fourth term on Saanich Council. I will not run for re-election on October 20, nor do I plan to run for Mayor or seek another elected office in the coming election cycle.

I love Saanich and I have loved being your Saanich Councillor for the last ten years. It has been an incredible honour to represent the great people of Saanich and be your voice at the Council table for three terms.

I didn’t come to this decision easily. The call to public service is strong and I will always have the desire to make a difference in my community – and the world, for that matter. Many friends and supporters have encouraged me to run again, or consider running for Mayor. I can understand that my decision may come as a surprise or even disappointment to them. A few years ago, I would have found myself just as surprised by today’s announcement.

As I talked about running for another term with family and friends, the decision ultimately came down to one question: If I wasn’t already in the role, would I decide to run for Council now? The answer was a resounding No, for a number of reasons. I have two wonderful children who will turn 9 and 6 this year. I’ve been a Councillor their entire lives, and I’ve missed a lot of bedtimes and family dinners to attend meetings and community events. In my professional life I have a job I love, focused on a subject matter I care about deeply. I manage the Healthy Communities portfolio for the Ministry of Health, where I’ve worked for 12 years.

This year will be only the second Saanich general election since 1999 in which my name is not on the ballot. By any measure, two decades in Saanich politics is a good run. It’s time to step aside and make way for new voices and new ideas.

I am announcing my decision now to give ample time for a would-be candidate to put together a campaign for the October election. There will be at least two vacant Council seats; I know there will be some excellent candidates stepping forward who will be a welcome addition to the Council table.

More than ever, Saanich needs leadership that will stand up for our climate and our environment. I intend to actively support candidates this Fall who put forward a vision of environmental stewardship – who won’t lead us into the past with decisions that strip away the natural environment and with it, so many of the things we cherish about this beautiful part of the world.

I am so grateful to the Saanich voters who took a chance on a 27-year-old young man all those years ago. And, I am proud to have been a part of some major steps forward for our community over the last ten years:

• A new Active Transportation Strategy to give people on foot, bikes and boards safer traveling options with better sidewalks, bike lanes and trails.

• A Food Security Plan to enhance local food production and ensure all residents have access to affordable, healthy, local food to put on their dinner tables.

• Permitting secondary suites, and now a move to permit backyard suites, has created some additional housing for renters and additional income for homebuyers to go towards those high mortgage costs.

• Beginning the work of Reconciliation. This term, Saanich started the process of forging government-to-government relationships with the Indigenous communities who are our neighbours and whose traditional territories we now call Saanich. In time I believe we will reflect on the development of those relationships as your local government’s most significant achievement.

I want to take the opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the skilled and professional staff at Saanich and the CRD. I have learned so much from, and been so impressed by, the thoughtful and dedicated people who serve this municipality, our region, and its residents.

To the supporters and volunteers who’ve given so much of their time and energy to my electoral success over the last decade, your passion for this community has been a constant source of inspiration. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

To my family, who has stood by me through every twist and turn of this marvelous journey. Through hard fought campaigns, election victories and a few defeats along the way. Every success I’ve known has been because of your love and support. I am forever grateful.

Friends, we are truly fortunate to call this beautiful part of the world our home. Let’s make sure we look after it, and each other.

All the best,


Saanich should join the Call for Energy & Climate in Building Sector



The signing of the historic Paris Agreement in December 2015 is an opportunity for renewed momentum on climate action globally, nationally and right here at home. As the Province prepares its newClimate Leadership Plan – expected this Spring – local government and building sector stakeholders around the province are calling for Action on Energy and Climate in the Building Sector.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Urban Development Institute Pacific Region, and Pembina Institute spearheaded the Call for Action on Energy and Climate in the Building Sector. Over 75 companies, organizations and local governments have thrown their support behind a detailed statement urging the province to take action to reduce carbon emissions from homes and buildings.

Saanich has a proud history of taking action on Climate Change, including our very own Climate Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan. As local governments, we are committed to the sustainability of our communities. We engage our citizens and staff to reduce emissions, we foster local economic development, and we prepare for a changing climate.

The complete text of the Call for Action on Energy and Climate in the Building Sector is below for your consideration and endorsement.


That Saanich join local governments and building sector stakeholder around the province by signing the Call for Action on Energy and Climate in the Building Sector.

Dean Murdock

Saanich Councillor

Chair, Environment & Natural Areas Advisory Committee


We support the B.C. government’s commitment to implement a new Climate Plan.

We expect the plan will include ambitious new actions that lead to:

  • a strong economy with opportunities for all British Columbians
  • a province powered by clean energy
  • a more equitable society
  • cleaner air and water supporting healthy communities and ecosystems
  • protection from a changing climate.

We can’t afford to delay. Now is the time to lead the transition to a clean energy economy.

In this transition, the built environment offers unique opportunities for carbon reductions and economic growth.

As energy and building professionals, trades and businesses, we provide world class products and services to meet customer needs, satisfy regulations and compete in the global marketplace.  We are employers, taxpayers, community partners, and leaders in our field.

As local governments, we are committed to the sustainability of our communities. We engage our citizens and staff to reduce emissions, we foster local economic development, and we prepare for a changing climate.

Together, we are ready to transition to a resilient and efficient building sector. We call on the B.C. government to:

  • Set a clear target for the end performance goal for new buildings — for example, for new buildings to be net-zero energy ready by 2030 — and work with stakeholders to develop, within six months of the release of the Plan, a roadmap clarifying the timeline and approach to meet this goal
  • Lead by example by requiring that all new planned public buildings meet this goal starting in 2016, and by setting up an aggressive renovation program for existing public buildings to reduce their carbon emissions by half in the next decade
  • Launch a multi-year incentive program to accelerate market transformation for high performance new construction and deep retrofits, prioritizing affordable housing and high visibility projects
  • Develop financing mechanisms to redistribute incremental costs, e.g. financing through property taxes or utility bills, or loans to strata
  • Ensure the construction and real estate industry, the government and the public have access to energy performance data to monitor progress and provide feedback on policies and behaviour
  • Support integrated land use and transportation planning to encourage location efficient development
  • Strengthen the price signal for efficiency and conservation through rates and carbon pricing.
  • Support local governments and resource the Building Safety and Standards Branch to facilitate code changes, streamline approval of innovative solutions through variances or alternative solutions, decrease permitting times and increase code compliance.

By pursuing these opportunities, we can reduce our carbon footprint while saving money, creating local jobs, and opening export markets for B.C.-made components and designs. We can also ensure all British Columbians live and work in buildings that improve community health, happiness, and productivity.

Here’s our chance to stand up for the environment in Saanich!

Hello friends,


We have a chance to stand up for environmental rights in Saanich! On Monday night, your Council will vote on a resolution for a right to healthy environment. Here’s your chance to let Mayor and council know you want to see the resolution passed in Saanich (the wording is included below).

What can I do?

  • Write to Mayor and Council here: Urge Council to pass a resolution in support of the Right to a Healthy Environment
  • Show your support by attending the meeting in the Council Chamber, 770 Vernon Aveon January 26th at 7:30pm
  • Tell Mayor and Council directly about what environmental rights mean to you, your family, and friends. Each person can speak for 5 minutes – there is no need to register beforehand.

Vancouver Island communities like Victoria, Duncan, and Ladysmith have passed similar resolutions on environmental rights. We can make a difference right here in Saanich by standing up for clean air, fresh water, and safe food. Let’s make sure Saanich remains on the leading edge of sustainability.




Dean Murdock


Saanich Councillor, and

Chair, Saanich Environment and Natural Areas Committee



Wording of the resolution:

WHEREAS the David Suzuki Foundation Blue Dot Tour has inspired many Canadians to request that the right to a healthy environment be enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedom through support of the following motion;

AND WHEREAS the District of Saanich understands that people are part of the environment, and that a healthy environment is inextricably linked to the well-being of our community;

AND WHEREAS the Saanich Official Community Plan provides a strong policy foundation to pursue actions and initiatives that contribute toward a healthy environment;

AND WHERESAS Saanich has the opportunity to endorse the Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment, joining other Canadian cities in re-affirming our commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT The District of Saanich endorses the following declaration in principle and forwards it to the next Committee of the Whole to allow for public in-put.

“All people have the right to live in a healthy environment, including:

The right to breathe clean air;

The right to drink clean water;

The right to consume safe food;

The right to access nature;

The right to know about pollutants and contaminants released into the local environment;

The right to participate in decision-making that will affect the environment.


The District of Saanich has the responsibility, within its jurisdiction, to respect, protect, fulfill and promote these rights.

The district of Saanich will apply the precautionary principle: where threats of serious or irreversible damage to human health or the environment exist, Saanich will take cost effective measures to prevent the degradation of the environment and protect the health of its citizens. Lack of full scientific certainty shall not be viewed as sufficient reason for Saanich to postpone such measures.

Saanich shall apply full cost accounting; when evaluating reasonably foreseeable costs of proposed  actions and alternatives, Saanich will consider costs to human health and the environment.

By December 31, 2015, Saanich will consider objectives, targets, timelines and actions within its jurisdiction to fulfill residents’ rights to a healthy environment, including options to:

Ensure equitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens within the municipality;

Ensure infrastructure and development projects protect the environment, including air quality;

Address Climate Change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing adaptation measures;

Responsibly increase density;

Prioritize walking, cycling and public transit as preferred modes of transportation;

Ensure adequate infrastructure for the provision of safe and accessible drinking water;

Promote the availability of safe foods;

Reduce solid waste and promote recycling and composting;

Establish and maintain accessible green spaces in all residential neighbourhoods;

The District of Saanich shall review these objectives, targets, timelines and actions every five years, and evaluate progress towards fulfilling this declaration.

The District of Saanich will consult residents as part of this process.”


AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Council forward this resolution to the Annual Meeting of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, requesting favourable consideration by delegates at the 2015 annual meetings of these Associations.image

Thank you!!



On Saturday, I was re-elected to Saanich Council with 14,781 votes – topping the polls. I am truly grateful for your support and encouragement.

It is thanks entirely to volunteers, friends and families that have been working their butts off for the last few months to make sure we achieved success on Election Day. I cannot express enough my gratitude for their hardwork, energy and determination.

I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Richard Atwell on his election as Mayor of Saanich; to newcomers Colin Plant and Fred Haynes, and returning Councillors Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Vicki Sanders, Vic Derman and Leif Wergeland. A big thank you to Nichola Wade and Paul Gerrard for your dedicated service and hardwork. Your contribution at the Council table has made Saanich a better place.

To our outgoing Mayor Frank Leonard, your 18 years as Mayor and 28 years of service to Saanich leaves our community in great shape and puts us on sound footing for the future. Truly a legacy to be proud of. It was my great pleasure to work with you and learn from you over the last six years on Council, and all the way back to my days as a high school student on a Saanich Advisory Committee. Wishing you all the very best in your next chapter. Thank you.

Now that the votes have been counted, and election signs put away, we can embark on the next four years together to make Saanich even better.



Vote tomorrow!!



Tomorrow is Election Day all over BC. In Saanich, the polls are open from 8 am to 8 pm. You can find your nearest voting location right here.

If you need a ride to the polls, please contact the Dean Team at 250-889-0242.

Campus View Elementary School 3900 Gordon Head Road
Cedar Hill Middle School 3910 Cedar Hill Road
Cordova Bay Elementary School 5238 Cordova Bay Road
Cloverdale Traditional School 3427 Quadra Street
Doncaster Elementary School 1525 Rowan Street
Frank Hobbs Elementary School 3875 Haro Road
Glanford Middle School 4140 Glanford Avenue
Gordon Head Middle School 1671 Kenmore Road
Hillcrest Elementary School 4421 Greentree Terrace
Lochside Elementary School 1145 Royal Oak Drive
Prospect Lake Elementary School 321 Prospect Lake Road
Reynolds Secondary School 3963 Borden Street
Royal Oak Middle School 751 Travino Lane (formerly 4564 West Saanich Road)
Spectrum Community School 957 Burnside Road West
Tillicum Elementary School 3155 Albina Street
Victoria Pacific Rim Alliance Church 1792 Townley Street


Authorized by Dean Murdock, Financial Agent. 250-889-0242

Let’s make Saanich even better

Saanich priorities

I am running for re-election because I’m excited about Saanich’s future and want this to be an even better place for my two children to grow up and raise their kids. Here are my priorities to make Saanich even better. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Affordable Housing – This is a desirable place to live, but it’s also an expensive place to find a home. I believe in providing affordable housing so families can afford to live and work in Saanich. Secondary suites are now legal across our community. That’s a big help to new homebuyers, seniors on a fixed income, and renters. Let’s work with builders to create a variety of new housing options for all ranges of incomes.

Better public transit & transportation options – Our region’s transit ridership is growing. We need better service and routes to catch up to the growing demand. It’s time for rapid transit service on priority routes and better neighbourhood service to connect commuters to major routes.

Quality sidewalks & bike lanes – I am calling on Council to work with our community to develop a 10-year plan for priority sidewalk construction. Our thriving community deserves walkable neighbourhoods. Bike lanes on major routes are a priority to ensure cyclists, pedestrians and motorists have safe traveling environments to get to where they need to go.

Farmland protection & Food Security – Keeping farmland for farming is our best food security. We have to stand up for farmland before it’s lost forever. Let’s create a viable local marketplace to keep farmers in business. We can put community markets in places where people can get access to the foods our local growers are selling. Let’s encourage policies that keep local dollars in the local economy by giving preference to our local growers.

Climate & environmental leadership – Saanich must continue to lead on climate action and environmental protection. A changing climate is a threat to our coastal community and our way of life. We must take priority action to reduce our community emissions – particularly transportation emissions (currently 60% of GHGs). Let’s pioneer initiatives that will free-up our congested streets and give commuters better options for transit, cycling and walking. It will help make Saanich a healthier community as well as a healthier climate.

Sustainable economic development – A thriving Saanich depends on good-paying jobs and families finding homes, sending their kids to school and putting down roots in our community. Saanich is home to two educational powerhouses – UVic and Camosun College. We are perfectly positioned to develop a dynamic technology sector. Let’s build the economy of tomorrow by working with our knowledge precincts and the tech sector it supports to create good-paying jobs for working Saanich families.

Together we can make Saanich an even better place to live, work, learn and play for our children and grandchildren.



Authorized by Dean Murdock, Financial Agent. 250-889-0242.

2014 Saanich All Candidates Meetings



Wednesday, October 22  – 7:00 pm (Doors open to public at 6:30 pm)

Prospect Lake and District Community Association,  5358 Sparton Road


Thursday, October 23 – 7:00 pm

Gordon Head United Church, 4201 Tyndall Avenue


Wednesday, October 29 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

All Candidates Fair, University of Victoria  Michele Pujol room in the Student Union Building


Wednesday, October 29 – 6:15pm

Royal Oak Middle School, Multi Use Room 751 Travino Lane (formerly 4564 West Saanich Road)


Thursday, October 30 – 2:00 pm  *Mayoral* Candidate  Debate

University of Victoria, Vertigo Room in the Student


Thursday, October 30 – 7:00 pm

Lochside School, 1145 Royal Oak Drive


Tuesday, November 4 – 2:00 pm

The Church of the Nazarene, 4277 Quadra St.


Wednesday, November 5  – 7:00pm to 9:00 pm

Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Road


Thursday, November 6 – 6:30pm to 9:30 pm

Garth Homer Centre, Auditorium, 813 Darwin Ave

Murdock files nomination papers; says election is about ‘affordability’

Re-Elect Sign

For Immediate Release – October 9, 2014

Murdock files nomination papers; says election is about ‘affordability’

Saanich – The municipal election race officially gets underway this week with candidate nominations. This afternoon Councillor Dean Murdock filed his papers for re-election to a third-term on Saanich Council and the CRD Board.

Murdock says a priority for him is affordability. “Our region is a desirable place to live. More and more people want to live here, but we’re seeing families struggle with the costs of putting a roof over their heads and food on the table.”

Murdock points to Council’s recent change to permit secondary suites as a positive step, but wants to see investment in housing that is affordable for all families. “Let’s work with builders to get a mix of housing options. When families can afford to settle in our community, they invest in housing, send their kids to local schools, and buy local products and services. Our region’s future depends on affordability for families.”

He says the rising cost of food can eventually be reversed by preserving farmland and supporting local farmers. “Keeping farmland for farming is our best food security. Let’s create a viable marketplace to keep farmers in business. We can put markets in places where people can get access to the foods our local growers are selling. That keeps dollars in the local economy.”

The two-term Councillor spent last summer on a sidewalk study tour and is calling for a 10-year plan for sidewalk priority construction. “Building a Walkable Saanich isn’t about sidewalks. It’s about building community.”

Murdock chairs Saanich’s Environment & Natural Areas Committee and is a member of the Greater Victoria Library Board. He is Vice Chair of the CRD Water Supply Commission.

Murdock was first elected to Saanich Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. He is a Program manager at the BC Ministry of Health. He has two young children and a beagle named Bella.

In the coming weeks, Murdock will release his full campaign platform, including transportation, affordable housing, food security, and environmental leadership as priority initiatives.

Candidate nominations close on October 10. Municipal elections are November 15.


Media Contact: Dean Murdock — Phone: 250.889.0242; Email:

Saanich eyes green light for secondary suites


Saanich urged to allow secondary suites north of McKenzie

Bill Cleverley / Times Colonist
September 10, 201

Secondary suites could soon be legal in Saanich north of McKenzie Avenue.

After extensive public consultation, Saanich staff are recommending that secondary suites be legalized in much of the municipality north of McKenzie Avenue, as was done south of McKenzie about four years ago. Broadmead, rural Saanich outside the Urban Containment Boundary and the Blenkinsop Valley outside the Urban Containment Boundary would be excluded.

“The staff are recommending pretty much what we did south of McKenzie,” Mayor Frank Leonard said.

The staff report will go to councillors sitting as a committee of the whole on Monday.

If councillors agree, the recommendation will go to public hearing.

Leonard did not want to predict what council might do, but noted one of council’s strategic objectives is to improve affordability of both house buying and rental accommodation. Secondary suites hit both those buttons.

“I expect there’s going to be some concerns and objections, but it could possibly be that council believes it’s in the greater good to proceed,” he said.

Coun. Dean Murdock said he expects the recommendation to go to public hearing, noting that council’s decision to legalize suites south of McKenzie was unanimous.

“The staff recommendation says that the conditions for north of McKenzie would be exactly the same as south of McKenzie,” he said.

“As we found the last time, the community is largely supportive of moving forward on permitting secondary suites. In my view, I think that this is probably going to be successful and move forward to public hearing and get the bylaw amended to permit suites.”

Leonard recused himself from the vote legalizing suites south of McKenzie because of his wife’s property holdings.

“Fortunately, she doesn’t own anything north of McKenzie, so I can take part,” he said.

Saanich already has an estimated 9,000 secondary suites, which translates into one in three single family dwellings having a suite, the staff report says.

Secondary suites are typically on the more affordable end of the rental accommodation price scale and many homeowners rely on them to pay their mortgage, the report says.

“With the aging population, suites are now becoming a necessary means to supplement limited retirement incomes or act as housing for on-site caregivers for elderly and/or infirm homeowners.”

About 80 per cent of houses with secondary suites in Saanich are occupied by the owner, the report says.