Tag Archives: happy holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family, and best wishes in 2012!

I am truly grateful for your support throughout the last term and during the election campaign. It is an honour to continue to serve as your Saanich Councillor for a second term on Council.

2011 has been another busy and exciting year! I was proud to play a role in moving several key priorities forward this year. I look forward to new challenges in 2012. I welcome your feedback on priority initiatives for the New Year.

Promoting local food production continues to be an important focus for Council. We’re supporting local farmers by giving local food priority for Saanich events and food services with a Local Food Procurement Policy. I was pleased to sponsor a bylaw change to allow urban chickens. Farmers will soon be able to sell fruits and veggies at pocket farm markets with a bylaw change in the New Year. And, a new Food Security Task Force will look at new initiatives to buy and grow food right here in the community.

Saanich has long been an environmental leader. This year we became one of the first communities in Canada with a Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The plan complements Saanich’s Climate Action Plan and will help guide policies and practices through the effects of a changing climate.

The Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee sponsored the return of the annual community workshop. This year’s theme was Connected Communities – giving community associations and non-profit groups a chance to share ideas about engaging citizens. I look forward to building on the success of the workshop this spring.

For the first time in decades, Saanich will add acres of farmland to the ALR with the purchase of Panama Flats. We’ll kick start a community process in the New Year to determine the best use of the land. I hope to see part of it returned to active farming. The Haro Woods purchase is another good news story that will protect this natural woodland in perpetuity.

Finally, the Olympic Vista apartments at Mt. View opened this year. The new units provide affordable transition housing in our community. A beautiful new community park and playground also opened on the site. It’s already the hub of activity for neighbourhood kids.

What are your priorities for 2012? Send me a note or talk about it on Facebook and Twitter!

On a personal note, my wife, Keeley and I are thrilled that our two-year-old son, Caelum, is going to have a baby sister in the spring. We’ll have a busy household and we couldn’t be more excited.

Best of the Season to you and your family and a Happy New Year.

Dean Murdock
Saanich Councillor

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family, and best wishes in 2011!

2010 has been busy and exciting! I have been fortunate to enjoy your support in moving forward with a number of important initiatives. I welcome your continued feedback and ideas as we turn our attention to our 2011 priorities (please click the Contact Me tab at the top of this page).

It is my great pleasure to be the new Chair of the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee and Liaison to the Saanich Youth Council. A new year brings a new focus on youth engagement in our community and promoting healthy and active living. I am also excited to work on a food security action plan and growing urban food. I appreciate your suggestions to promote healthy Saanich communities. Please send me your ideas.

Transportation and personal mobility continue to be our priorities this year. We’re ensuring that pedestrians have a safe and quality walking environment in the neighbourhoods where they live by adding another half a million dollars to the sidewalk construction budget. My motion encouraging BC Transit to select rail-based rapid transit on the Douglas corridor could also mean enormous environmental, social, and economic benefits and reduced traffic congestion. I hope you will join me in conveying support for a rail-based rapid transit system. Send BC Transit an email: VRRT@bctransit.com

Climate change and environmental sustainability remain high priorities. After months of development and consultation, we adopted the Saanich Climate Action Plan and implemented key climate initiatives. The plan is a blueprint to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in the community by one-third and to achieve a 50 per cent reduction for all municipal operations in the next decade. We’re also keeping toxic chemicals out of our gardens and our watercourses by banning cosmetic pesticides, starting May 1st this year. Finally, Councillor Judy Brownoff and I received the unanimous support of Council for our motion calling on senior levels of government to ban offshore oil drilling and restrict coastal oil tanker traffic. Is Saanich taking the rights steps for the climate and environment? Please let me know what you think.

After years of discussion, this year Saanich Council amended its bylaw to recognize and permit secondary suites south of McKenzie Ave. With the high cost of housing in our region, secondary suites provide an element of affordability to the suite-renter and the home-owner. The amendment allows secondary suites and legally recognizes a large stock of affordably-priced rental housing.

Best of the Season to you and your family and a Happy New Year.

Dean Murdock
Saanich Councillor

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