Happy Holidays!!

As we approach the end of 2009, I want to take a moment to to wish you a happy holiday season, with best wishes for 2010.

I also want to reflect on some of the successes and priorities of the past year:

Promoting alternative transportation and personal mobility. I was pleased to support a half-million-dollar boost to the sidewalk budget and endorse plans for dedicated bike routes to UVic. Improving mobility options for pedestrians and cyclists will ensure that our busy corridors are safe for all commuters. As BC Transit moves forward with its rapid transit plans for Douglas Street, I continue to advocate for a transportation hub at Uptown as key to environmental and economic benefits.

Protecting farmland and promoting local food production. Council protected Saanich farmland by turning down two applications to rezone agricultural properties into residential lots. We are supporting local food production by promoting pocket markets and planning for more community gardens. I was pleased that Council unanimously supported my motion to allow Saanich residents to keep hens.

Environmental leadership in Saanich. Working with community and environmental groups, Saanich developed a Climate Action Plan, tailored to our needs, which is now complete and ready to adopt. We cut our corporate emissions ten percent below 2004 levels. Council passed a Pesticides Bylaw to eliminate the non-essential use of pesticides throughout Saanich.

I welcome your feedback on the work Council has done, and the initiatives we have planned for the coming year. Please send me your comments.

On a personal note, this year was a very special one for my family. In September, my wife, Keeley, and I welcomed the birth of our first child, Caelum. We’re delighted that he will grow up in such a wonderful community.

Happy Holidays.

Dean Murdock
Saanich Councillor