Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes would like to see Saanich join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Development Institute (Black Press File).

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes wants municipality to join chamber, Urban Development Institute

Haynes also wants each member of council to receive a $500 budget for professional development

Mayor Fred Haynes wants Saanich to join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Urban Development Institute (UDI). He also wants Saanich to give each council member a personal budget of $500 for professional development and networking.

“It’s linked to the professional development of the council,” said Haynes, of his proposals, which the rest of council will take up at its next meeting Jan. 7, 2019. “By becoming members, we have greater access to the professional development programs that these two groups put on,” he said. “This would better equip council with the knowledge and understanding of these sectors.”

RELATED: Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes sees plenty of opportunity in cannabis industry

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce represents some 1,400 businesses and organizations of various kinds and sizes as the second largest chamber in British Columbia. The 750 members of the Urban Development Institute represent all aspects of the development industry and its related professions, from private developers to local governments and agencies.

“By becoming member, we have greater access to the professional development programs that these two groups put on,” he said. “This would better equip council with the knowledge [and] understanding of these sectors.”

Haynes said joining the chamber is in part about exposing council to the local business community.

RELATED: Saanich agrees to raise property tax revenues by 3.53 per cent

“Right now, we are getting 78 per cent of our taxes from local residents,” he said. “We get 22 per cent from commerce and retail. We want to change that ratio. My campaign as mayor was about changing that ratio. Several of the councillors have talked about changing that ratio. We do that better from a position of knowledge.”

Stated policy priorities of the UDI, meanwhile, include measures to improve the supply of housing (especially rental housing) through measures that include faster approval processes, higher density and community amenity contributions, with an eye towards concentrating development near public transit nodes.

RELATED: Saanich voters send Haynes to mayor’s office, reject political slate

Haynes said Saanich said senior staff receive professional development as part of their contract and it is only reasonable that councillors “charged with very weighty decisions” receive the same opportunity for professional development.

“We understand that council members go to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), and the Association of Vancouver Island Municipalities and Coastal Communities (AVICC), and there is very important, rich and useful conversations there,” he said. “[But] it is within the peer group, and the opportunity we get from the chamber and from the UDI is local and on-the-ground.”

Haynes added joining these organizations is not expensive. Saanich’s annual membership for UDI would be $1,100, and just over $3,500 for the chamber of commerce.

Saanich plans to combine these membership by granting each councillor a budget of $500 for professional development.

Haynes said the current policy requiring councillors to ask for prior permission creates an obstacle.

“I think we should trust those councillors to make their decision on what kind of workshop they need to fill their information and education needs,” he said. “For example, I’d have to ask the [chief administrative officer Paul Thorkelsson], ‘can I go to a luncheon at the chamber or UDI?’ Now I have my budget of $500, and I can use it as I wish. But I’m accountable at the end of the year. I think it is very positive thing, and I’m optimistic that council would approve it.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

Central Saanich Police issue recommendations to homeowners after break-in

Incident happened over weekend in Tanner Ridge area

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read