Local Government Transparency


Saanich residents need to know how their local government elected representatives vote on all motions that come before council. That’s transparency right where we need it – at the council table when councillors actually make their decisions and vote.

Transparency is absolutely necessary for good government. It’s absolutely essential for fair, accountable government.

Saanich Council can significantly improve its transparency by electronically tracking how each councillor votes. We can provide the voting records of all councillors on every motion, by implementing an electronic dashboard on our municipal website.

As things stand now, citizens must watch or scroll through the entire video recordings of council meetings to find out how councillors voted on specific motions,. That takes too much time. We can do so much better at providing our citizens with accurate, timely information on how their councillors voted.

An electronic dashboard is an easy fix. It can be updated after every council meeting to show citizens how their municipal councillors are working for them.

For two years, I have championed implementation of a vote-tracking dashboard on the District of Saanich website. Twice I have brought motions before council to establish a dashboard. We still don’t have one.

The City of Victoria does. Vancouver does. Nanaimo does. Why not Saanich? Our residents deserve and need local government transparency as much as citizens anywhere else in British Columbia.

I want to ensure that Saanich residents enjoy the highest possible level of local government transparency. And I will keep bringing motions before council to implement a vote-tracking dashboard.

 

I’m Nathalie Chambers. I’m seeking re-election for a second term on Saanich Council in this fall’s municipal election.  I’m also standing for election to the Capital Regional District.
You know where I stand on local government transparency.
If you agree, then vote Nathalie Chambers on October 15.
Thank you.

Local Area Plans


LAPs

Saanich has a wonderful tradition of civic engagement in local government. Our Local Area Plans are a great example.

Local Area Plans provide policy to enable Saanich citizens to identify, protect and enhance features of their neighborhoods. Each of the 12 neighborhoods in Saanich has a Local Area Plan. In the past, citizen input has resulted in important environmental protection. To remain current, Local Area Plans are updated regularly.

In 2021, the District of Saanich paused Local Area Plans to focus on Centre, Corridor and Village planning – basically to concentrate on new housing development.

I know – this just sounds like routine administration. Local government planning. Business as usual. But it’s not business as usual.

I began hearing from residents in Saanich neighborhoods who feared council’s new planning focus would create changes in their communities that weren’t in line with Local Area Plans.

In addition, Saanich citizens have expressed their fears that council’s “pause” on updating Local Area Plans will continue indefinitely. These concerns are creating neighborhood disharmony. People are afraid that Saanich Council will use the new planning priority to run roughshod over the Local Ares Plans and the neighborhood-based priorities they represent.

I believe it is council’s fundamental duty to balance policy and strategic priorities with the will of the people. Saanich residents are feeling that the rug is being pulled out from under them. Something is wrong.

So, I made a motion in council to forward discussion about ending the pause on Local Area Plan updates to this September. I just didn’t want to see Local Area Plans get stuck in limbo indefinitely.

In fact, I’d like to see discussion on Local Area Plans begin as soon as possible. Our Local Area Plans represent a bond of trust between council and our residents.

I will respect that trust because I understand how important properly updated Local Area Plans are to democracy, accountability and harmony in Saanich.

Thank you.

Protect what you believe is important in your community.
Saanich is currently receiving public input regarding new land use policy in three areas:
  • New housing forms in Neighbourhoods (through residential infill)
  • Land uses along major roads/corridors
  • Building complete, walkable communities

Why I went into municipal politics – getting Saanich back on track


“The Spirit of Saanich” inspired me to enter municipal politics as a candidate for council.

What is “”The Spirit of Saanich”?

It’s community accomplishment. Environmental protection. Civic engagement. And political accountability from elected local government officials.

Before 2018, Saanich citizens and council achieved something truly important. They put in place very strong environmental protection for our community.

The Environmental Development Permit Area and protections entrenched in Local Area Plans enshrined the principles of sustainability and responsible development in the District of Saanich. These measures established a level of environmental protection that represented a significant community accomplishment.

Saanich citizens, working with local organizations and municipal committees, made robust environmental protection a reality through their enthusiastic civic engagement. Saanich Council worked with them and stood accountable to their demand for a healthy local environment.

This was the heart and soul of “The Spirit of Saanich”. I loved it. And when I was first elected to Saanich Council in 2018, I looked forward to following the path blazed by local residents and their elected representatives.

But much to my dismay, the Saanich Council elected four years ago abandoned that path and replaced it with an agenda undoing our environmental protection and prioritizing the interests of developers.

I’m seeking re-election in October, 2022, because I want to put Saanich back on track for the future.

Let’s honour the tradition of civic engagement that put us on the right path – with the goal of protecting our environment as the key to a healthy community.

Let’s restore “The Spirit of Saanich”.

On October 15, vote Nathalie Chambers for Saanich Council and the Capital Regional District.

Thank you.

Claudia Copely Endorses Nathalie


Nathalie Chambers truly values our regional biodiversity and does more than just proclaim herself concerned about it: she is a genuine steward of nature. I have always admired Nathalie’s commitment to being a champion of sustainability and her efforts to achieve her goals through collaboration.
Nathalie’s efforts are authentic and tireless. She takes time to learn about issues and works hard to try to solve them. She stands strong for science and recognizes the importance of nature-based solutions, resiliency in the face of the climate crisis, and the need to consider future generations by taking a long view.
Saanich residents have been lucky to have had Nathalie as a voice for the voiceless at council and we desperately need to elect more municipal councillors that are true advocates for biodiversity. Nathalie is conscientious, kind, and considerate, and deserving of all our support.