Happy Holidays

I thought I’d post a note of season’s greetings and why not share a few highlights from 2013 while I’m at it? Here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to this year. Merry Christmas and best of the holiday season to you and your family!

Walkable Saanich – As you know, sidewalks and mobility continue to be major priorities for me. This summer I launched a sidewalk study tour. I have been visiting dozens of neighbourhoods all over Saanich to take a look at the walking environment. I asked your Council to develop a sidewalk strategy that would guide the construction of pedestrian infrastructure. While I’m disappointed that didn’t happen, I am inspired by your many emails and calls and will continue to be your advocate for a walkable Saanich.

Standing up for the ALR and farmland – I’m proud of Saanich’s long history of preserving farmland. When word came out that the Province was reviewing the Agricultural Land Reserve and the mandate of the Agricultural Land Commission, I asked Council to reaffirm its support for the ALR and call on the Province to consult on any potential changes. Thanks to your emails of support, Council unanimously agreed to write the responsible Ministers to ensure your voices were heard: leave the ALR alone!

Protecting our climate, environment and natural areas – This year I became the Chair of the Environment and Natural Areas Committee. As you may know, 2013 marked a 14% reduction in the District’s GHG emissions below 2007. That puts us well on our way to 50% by 2020. We’re also working on updating the Tree Preservation Bylaw, changes to Saanich’s home heating oil policies and the development of a Farmlands Trust.

In the books! – It is a great pleasure to be the new Saanich representative on the Greater Victoria Public Library board. I’m really looking forward to getting involved. I’ve had a life-long love of reading that started with trips to the library with my parents. My wife and I are happy to share that same experience with our two young kids. I hope that our libraries are a place where all families can experience the joy of reading.

What are your priorities for 2014? Send me an email or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!

Wishing you all the very best in 2014.

Dean Murdock
Saanich Councillor