Governance problems

Letters

There are problems with governance in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.  This unorganized territory, which takes in two-thirds of the land base in the Capital Regional  District, including the Chatham Islands off Oak Bay, elects one person, the regional director. The regional director confirms the appointment of every member of every board or commission for the six subdivisions of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Decisions cannot and should not be made by one elected official who has the power to appoint every other decision maker.

The rules for governance of an unorganized territory are laid out in the Local Government Act and differ in many details from those governing municipalities. In the case of the JdF EA CRD directors have the duty to give a second look and final approval in all decisions.  Land Use Committee A (Sooke, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin  and JdF EA)  and LUC B (Highlands, Langford, Central Saanich, Saanich and JdF EA) were created to take care of the routine housekeeping matters covered  in  Part 26 of the Local Government Act, not to have total authority over all  decisions. Part 25 decisions, affecting the whole of the region, must be dealt with by the whole board.

We are not urban people. We have shown that by our unwillingness to join Sooke at its birth, by referendum in February 2005 and by East Sooke’s exploration of joining with rural Metchosin. Sooke, Colwood and Langford,with deciding voices in our decisions, are clearly urban and developer oriented. Splitting the CRD would not solve our governance problems or protect our desire to remain rural. It might even be seen as a real estate grab; moving the JdF EA from the frying pan into the fire.

Rosemary Jorna

Otter Point