JDFEA governance history outlined

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JDFEA) is governed through the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board and uses regional district land use planning services.

The vote that Land Use Committees A and B have on Juan de Fuca Electoral Area land use comes by default.  In the year 2000, the remnants of the Langford and Sooke Electoral Areas were folded into one Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, dragging along various First Nations territories for administrative convenience.  The arrangement is not all that democratic for residents on First Nations land or the rest of us swept together in this awkward arrangement.

With only one electoral area using regional district planning services, the default voting regime described in the Local Government Act (LGA) came into play. All CRD directors had the duty to vote.  After less than six months, the CRD Board knew they didn’t have the time to deal with JDFEA land use issues.

The CRD may be the only regional district in the province where the default voting regime has been triggered. At the request of the CRD Board, the provincial government created an exception to the Local Government Act.

By 2001, the present regime of LUC A and LUC B was established. JDFEA voters have no relationship to four of the directors voting on their land use.

The compromise is not democratic: it gives a lot of power to a few directors who are not accountable. Democracy isn’t all about trust. Politicians must be accountable as well as trustworthy.

Advisory Planning Commissions (APC) and the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee (JDF LUC) were set up to provide more democratic representation. People keep saying members are elected.  This isn’t true yet. In 2005, everyone was a self-identified volunteer. All members of the committees were acclaimed or chosen by the regional director.

In 2008, voters chose members for the East Sooke and Shirley APCs and LUC members for East Sooke, Otter Point and Shirley.  Malahat had nobody running for election but the regional director found someone to accept appointment to the JDF LUC.

For 2010 a new East Sooke LUC member was also appointed.  At this time, only 12 of 31 people serving on these committees were elected and Malahat has no APC. This November, I expect more nominations and elections.

Since there will also be new CRD Board members after the elections, the provincial government might change its mind and honour the CRD Board’s request for an LUC C consisting of the whole CRD Board to vote on applications for the Rural Resource Lands. The first request was burdened by association with the Marine Trail Holdings rezoning and with Director Hicks’ feeling personally insulted. But really, it is a good time to make such a change.  It would avoid future controversy about compliance with the Regional Growth Strategy and reflect that all of the CRD has a stake in the Rural Resource Lands. No such simple solution comes to mind for decision making for the populated JDFEA OCP areas.

Heather Phillips

Otter Point

 

 

Heather Phillips is a member of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Land Use Committee and an active hiker and outdoors enthusiast.

Just Posted

Free firework safety courses coming to the West Shore right before Halloween

No permit? You could be fined anywhere between $100 and $10,000

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

Persons Day to be marked with literary readings in Sidney

Peninsula authors to read from their new books relating to women and courageous journeys, Oct. 18

Fairfield-Gonzales residents aim to establish senior care phone line

The Fairfield-Gonzales Village would allow seniors living alone to have a direct line to resources

Antimatter 2019: The best in experimental media art comes to Victoria

22nd annual festival of film, performance art and more biggest ever – 120 artists, 30 countries

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read