Let’s make Saanich even better

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014

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.

Dean

 

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

24 Comments

  1. Jackie MacDonald
    October 23, 2014

    Hi Dean
    How will you ensure that council makes Climate Change the highest level filter for determining the appropriateness of every council decision? i.e. new building construction, side walks, roads.
    Thanks

    • Dean Murdock
      October 23, 2014

      Thanks for your question, Jackie. Every staff report that comes to Council will have a section on climate implications. It is a level of analysis that Council expects in all decisions and something that I am particularly aware of when making policy or land use decisions.

      • Jackie MacDonald
        October 25, 2014

        Would I be able to see the staff report about the climate implications of cement sidewalks?Knowing where new sidewalks are planned would also help me understand this priority.

  2. Dick
    October 24, 2014

    Dean:

    Re: Transportation

    It would be very encouraging if you’d use “Rail” instead of “Rapid” as it would say, to me at least, that you are serious about it.

    “Rapid” and “Transit” are words that have been proven as meaning anything BUT “Rail”.

    Look at the McKenzie corridor; it’s one of the worst in the Region. It’s time to get Rail Transit along there.

    Look at it this way; as Gerald Fox, of Portland’s streetcar system says –
    “In 3 or 4 seconds, one rail consist can get 400 people through an intersection.
    “Try getting 400 automobiles through that same intersection in that same time!”

    With this in mind, YOU could do much for your municipality, Dean – and our Region!

    All the best!

    • Dean Murdock
      October 24, 2014

      Thanks, Dick. I agree with you about specifying “rail” where we are going to use rail. But not all rapid transit will be rail – at least in the short-term. I am excited about the opportunity for rail transit and will continue to work for its implementation. We have to also get serious about moving people through our busy corridors with rapid transit service.

  3. Carol Pickup
    October 24, 2014

    Your platform is excellent Dean. Under agriculture I would have liked you to support a regional farmlands trust. And you make no reference to the arts and their importance in our community. Finally people at the municipal level need to inform the public of the moves by both senior levels of government to download the cost of services and infrastructure on the local tax base. Then you get blamed for having to increase taxes!!

    • Dean Murdock
      October 24, 2014

      Thanks very much, Carol. You make an excellent point. I am very excited about a regional farmland trust. As you know, Saanich Council supported the development of options that would create a trust. I look forward to seeing that come to fruition and, if re-elected, will work hard to make it a reality.

  4. Natalie Kroschinsky
    October 24, 2014

    Saanich does not have an agreement with the CRD pound, and our pound does not help stray, lost or feral cats. Because of this, cats are left to starve, reproduce and suffer if they are in Saanich boundries. A cat lucky enough to be in say cental saanich will get help from the CRD pound if lost, homelesss or feral. Saanich can not continue its inhumane response to this situation. Will you consider adding this issue to your priorities?

    • Dean Murdock
      October 24, 2014

      Thank you, Natalie. Yes, it’s a very sad situation for those of us who love animals. As well as the families who have lost their cat or for those who look after lost or stray cats. My colleague Vicki Sanders and I have been working with staff on this issue and will bring something forward in the next term, if we are re-elected.

  5. Michael Zwicker
    October 24, 2014

    Dean,

    You have clearly communicated in writing your position on many of the issues that impact our community. I am interested in knowing your position and rationale on amalgamation of our many municipalities in the greater Victoria area. Thank you.

    Michael

    • Dean Murdock
      October 25, 2014

      Thanks for the question, Michael. As you know, voters will get the chance to answer yes or no to a ballot question that asks if they support Council initiating a review of or governance and regional partnerships. I intend to vote yes to this question. I don’t believe that amalgamation is necessarily the right solution. But I know we can do better than our current model – particularly at the regional level. I’m looking forward to the open community discussion about what kind of future we want for our region and the best governance structure to get us there.

      • Michael Zwicker
        November 2, 2014

        Thank you Dean for your response.

  6. Julia Rose
    October 25, 2014

    please support small scale food growth through community gardens, shared backyards, fruit tree preservation. there is a number of folks already doing this but we need to expand and support this work. any housing densification (which I see lots of this under development) needs to include a proportionate accessible green space not only for kids to play but for community gardens for food security. I am concerned with the rapid densification going on that this is not taken into account in a realistic way as developers want to maximize space for housing to make profit and green space really looks like a few stick trees, shrubs and maybe a few small boxes called “gardens”. this is token sustainability and not practical should food security become a bigger issue in future.

    • Dean Murdock
      October 25, 2014

      Thanks for your suggestions, Julia. I agree with you. Creating opportunities for urban farming is essential to our food security. I’m looking forward to the development of a food security action plan with the creation of the new food security task force in the next term. Saanich needs a coherent and focused suite of initiatives that will ensure our residents have access to quality, affordable local food options.

  7. Bob Maxwell
    October 31, 2014

    Thanks Dean for your on going interest in supporting agriculture. Creating more spots where local farmers and growers can sell is excellent. And along with this might be ‘easy to access’ health and safe food monitoring and registry where gardeners also can sell extra produce and be on the ‘safe supplier’ list. We need a big regional push on fighting obesity too – good healthy eating everywhere can help. Get rid of the chips and junk food – how do we do this?
    Keep the movement going – never give up.

    ..max

    • Dean Murdock
      October 31, 2014

      Thanks so much, Max. Excellent suggestions!

  8. Craig Chambers
    November 4, 2014

    Dean – Interurban/Wilkinson/Hastings is arguably the most frustrating intersection in Saanich. At times, traffic can seriously impede ambulances that need to get quickly to VGH. Do you support improvements to the intersection, and if so, what improvements to the intersection do you support?

    • Dean Murdock
      November 12, 2014

      Yes, I definitely support improvements to this intersection. It’s one of the worst congestion points in or region. As you know, Saanich went through a process to evaluate improvements in that corridor several years ago. The recommended changes were rejected by residents in the area, and ultimately rejected by Council. If be interested in seeing an open discussion with residents to understand what options will work best for them to fix the congestion in that area and get traffic moving.

  9. Dave Godfrey
    November 8, 2014

    2 questions…..1) How can any run for Saanich for the period 2014 to 2018 and not even mention sewage in their platform? An $800 million expenditure which must be completed by 2020 and Saanich supplies 1/3rd of the raw material……..at the moment Saanich has no plan–except perhaps a hope and a prayer….2) you all talk about sustainability, but Saanich has 30 to 40 thousand family units–each one of which is responsible for 30 to 40 tons of CO2 a year. How much of Vancouver Island’s forested acres does it take each year to absorb 1,000,000 tons of CO2? That is, what does sustainable mean?

    • Dean Murdock
      November 10, 2014

      Thanks for the questions, Dave. As they’re roughly the same as what you asked on my facebook page, I’ll repeat the answers I provided there:

      With respect to sewage treatment – Like many people in our region, I am frustrated by the lack of progress on the secondary treatment project. I am particularly concerned about the $500 million in federal and provincial funding that is now at risk because we are not progressing on track for the timeline. We have been mandated to treat our sewage. That means we will have to build a facility with or without senior government funding. If the funding disappears, it will put the entire cost of the eventual treatment facility solely on the property taxpayer.

      The current thinking seems to be collaboration with our regional neighbours along the eastern and western coastlines. I think that is an opportunity to work collaboratively for a sustainable, cost-effective solution that will ensure we receive the committed senior government funding.

      With respect to CO2 absorbing trees – A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old. Saanich’s community CO2 inventory stood at 416,241 tons. You’ll have to help me with the math from there. Of course, trees don’t absorb methane and other more harmful GHGs with a longer half life.

      The point is, we’ve got to take action to curb our emissions – especially our vehicle emissions. You can find out more about my climate priorities on the page of my website.

  10. Heather Ranson
    November 8, 2014

    Hi Dean,
    Can you please tell me where you stand on the CRD sewage plant?
    Thank you.
    Heather

    • Dean Murdock
      November 10, 2014

      Like many people in our region, I am frustrated by the lack of progress on the secondary treatment project. I am particularly concerned about the $500 million in federal and provincial funding that is now at risk because we are not progressing on track for the timeline. We have been mandated to treat our sewage. That means we will have to build a facility with or without senior government funding. If the funding disappears, it will put the entire cost of the eventual treatment facility solely on the property taxpayer.

      The current thinking seems to be collaboration with our regional neighbours along the eastern and western coastlines. I think that is an opportunity to work collaboratively for a sustainable, cost-effective solution that will ensure we receive the committed senior government funding.

  11. tim
    November 15, 2014

    Hello Dean
    Why the push for bike lanes on major routes?
    Bikes are anything but “rapid transit” they maybe green but they are not rapid.
    Making “off major route bike lanes” (with useful end points) make the routes more desirable for users and allows for rapid transit on major arteries.

    • Dean Murdock
      November 18, 2014

      Good point, Tim. In some cases, it makes sense for safety reasons to put bike lanes off the major routes. However, on many of our major routes, cyclists want to be on the major corridor with access to shopping centres and services, just like motorists and pedestrians.