This has been a good week for opinion pieces in the Times Colonist, Aug 2, 2011.
Ted Daly, former mayor of North Saanich, has provided an indispensable retrospective on what was intended when the CRD Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) was crafted. Indeed, the provincial legislation mandating a RGS was never intended to trump municipal authority and this was clear to the participants in the RGS adoption.
Wayne Fritz has given us some valuable insights into the colonial mentality whereby the residents of Port Renfrew, Otter Point, Willis Point, Malahat and East Sooke are essentially governed by the Juan de Fuca Colonial Office located in the CRD HQ.
Fritz is quite right in that there are some inequities in the Land Use Committee (LUC) structure established by former EA Regional Director Lunn. It is also the case that this local structure has done valuable work in producing a compromise Official Community Plan (OCP) for Otter Point that seems to have broad support.
Both of these opinion pieces support our view that fundamentals have to be addressed. Tinkering with voting structures is not going to fix the discord regarding the unincorporated lands. Insisting that the Growth Management Strategy is the supreme law of the land is also a dead end. The very thought that the CRD might sue a mandated CRD committee for doing its legal duty illustrates the need for some fresh thinking.
We believe that there is merit in considering a divorce between the Western Communities and the Victoria core and the Peninsula citing irreconcilable differences. Fritz suggests amalgamation in the unincorporated areas, perhaps based on Sooke, would be the way to go. There may be other valid options to move ahead.
We don’t know the outcome or the best option. But we do know that the present state of affairs is not sustainable and we welcome the opening of an adult conversation. At last.
Association of B. C Land Owners