McBride apologizes for Sandown deal remarks

Land deal went through typical process, insists CAO

North Saanich Councillor Conny McBride has apologized to District chief administrative officer Rob Buchan for comments she made on the Sandown land deal process at council’s Oct. 28 committee meeting.

She expressed “extreme regret” for those comments, adding she does not want to “disparage the work or the role of the CAO.” McBride added her comments came over Buchan being listed as the District’s agent in the deal to transfer ownership of most of the former horse racing property to the municipality. Twelve acres of it will be retained by the Randall family for commercial development.

At the Oct. 28 meeting, McBride wanted to know how the CAO and District staff went to Sandown’s owner and the Capital Regional District — with no public input — to have the District’s regional context statement changed to allow the deal. She said there’s no formal plan for development of the 12 acres. McBride also asked who the CAO was representing — the municipality or the property owner.

She also expressed frustration that while it appears the Sandown deal went quickly, other proposals seem to be taking too long.

“If we’re not open for business in allowing developments,” she said at the time, “we should not have four planners in the development department and we should tell every developer … we are not developing anything, so leave.”

Buchan responded at the time that he and staff “absolutely represent the District.”

“We went to the CRD on council’s direction,” he explained. “Council passed first and second reading on the regional context statement and the CRD did approve it.”

Mayor Alice Finall added this all occurred before the municipality went to the CRD to amend its context statement to allow for the Sandown deal back on November, 2011.

Final approval from the CRD, she said, came the following month, but after an estimated six months of work.

Coun. Elsie McMurphy told McBride on Oct. 28 that this process is the same for any land under a development proposal — the District doesn’t own those lands either but follows a similar process.

Buchan added council went through the same process in its approval  of the 9395 East Saanich Rd. development.

Finall, in a later phone call to the News Review, said McBride’s apology was important.

“Three weeks ago,” she explained, “the District amended its respectful workplace policy to coincide with anti-bullying legislation in B.C.”

Finall said the council has to understand that any incident, such as McBride’s comments, might have to be reported to WorkSafe B.C. She added this case probably won’t go that far, as it occurred before the legislation came into effect on Nov. 1.

 

Just Posted

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

False missile alert for Central Saanich councillor

While on vacation in Hawaii, Central Saanich Councillor Alicia Holman was awoken… Continue reading

Victoria airport nearing billion-dollar mark in economic impact

Airport has nearly doubled its passengers and its impact on the economy since 2005

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

Most Read