letter

LETTER: North Saanich Residents Association keeping community informed

The North Saanich Residents Association (NSRA) wishes to clarify who we are and what we do.

First and foremost, the NSRA encourages transparency and accountability in local government and adherence to the official community plan by: monitoring District of North Saanich council decisions, sharing information, facilitating respectful dialogue and promoting a culture of public participation on matters impacting the District of North Saanich.

The NSRA has been doing this since 1948, acting on the core belief that if residents are informed, they will be engaged in local democratic processes.

We actively support and encourage participation in all district engagement activities through regular emails to our members and updates on our PlaceSpeak.com/northsaanichresidents webpage. Our reach in the community online exceeds our membership with twice as many people connected and following the NSRA on PlaceSpeak.

With the support of volunteers we provide summaries of council meetings that include short abstracts and details of council deliberations and votes. We provide links to relevant reports, agendas and video recordings so the community can keep up to date, provide feedback and make informed decisions.

The NSRA provides an online resource library and events calendar, as well as options for anyone to participate in polls, surveys and online discussions. By providing these services, the NSRA encourages informed and meaningful participation in all matters under the purview of District of North Saanich council.

The NSRA plays an active and important role in informing and encouraging resident participation in the official community plan (OCP) process. We have promoted resident participation by reaching out online, sharing relevant information and hosting an online meeting with district staff so that residents could understand how best they could contribute to the process and conducting a community survey on the OCP.

As our members have a wide range of opinions on topics, the NSRA board does not take advocacy positions on local matters. We do, however, actively advocate for transparency, meaningful community engagement, and respectful dialogue.

John Kafka, Gordon Hardwick, Paige Gibson, Steve Heddle, Carolyn Stout, Susan Chandler and Gary Ng

NSRA Directors