Update: Taxpayer Money and the Environment. 


Update: Taxpayer Money and the Environment. 

It is almost strategic planning and budget time. Please join me in trying to retain and improve Saanich’s provincially renowned legacy of environmental protection on both private and public lands.  The dial was moved last term from our charted strategic direction and many in the public are still not aware of the changes that occurred.

See my 2020 Year-end Review : history of how we got to where we are.

 

Transparency, accountability, and civic engagement are key to good government. Thank you Saanich Residents for re-electing me! Unless you watch the webcasts you cannot appreciate my diligence and guardianship of taxpayer money and the environment and the duress I encountered while doing my job.

I believe in abundance and, if our taxes are managed without subsidizing private, corporate interests, we do have enough money to pay fair wages, safety, protect the environment, take climate action, and follow through on livable, affordable, sustainable communities. This was not my experience last term. Last term I witnessed 100 years of approved community plans set aside for recommendations made by the development community for affordable housing that never materialized. Those recommendations had tax increase implications.

(Election financing, BC Elections has just posted)

I am 100% NOT developer funded. Inviting donations from stakeholders on unceded land is very problematic for me, and I have never taken a developer’s donation to get elected. Thank you to my campaign team, my deputy and financial agent. Thank you Katherine Whitworth for your exemplary accounting services, incredible knowledge and integrity- thank you! Keith Cameron: thank you as well! I am very happy that I was able to grant honorariums to my core campaign team this election cycle.

My financial record is now posted with elections BC:

Chambers financing information: 2022 General Local Elections Disclosure Statement for Nathalie Chambers in Saanich has been accepted as filed by the deadline.

If you worked with me in conservation you will know my motto “a conversation about conservation without finance is just a conversation”. My record of accomplishment in financing has enabled me to raise millions for greenspace protection. Last term there were foundational changes with financial implications that I opposed. These occurred when the public was out of the council chambers and the impacts can be seen in our current draft budget. Protecting my track record of public trust and good financial management led me to advocate strongly for a voting dashboard – a effort in which I was defeated.

For example, one decision I believe that will be a very, very expensive for residents was this one: The Environmental Services and Planning Department, once provincially recognized as a symbol of sustainable development, has been torn apart. The Environment Services staff were dispersed into the Parks department, putting into question our provincial legacy of protecting our unique region.  Now 56% of critically important biodiversity, sensitive ecosystems, and culturally significant areas are without adequate protections and we all lose resilience, biodiversity, and civic participation.

 

Another critically important decision is leading to a steady attrition of habitat. The Resilient Saanich Technical Committee was created to assist staff. Then, later in the term, a majority of council voted to change the terms of reference and staff were sidestepped, leading to our current situation: the loss of Nature-Based Solutions and the and loss of habitats for the hundreds of endangered species we are obligated to care for. This change is attributed to the influence of private lobbying groups. As far as I am concerned this is a repeat of colonial land use and we need to decolonize land use and our political institutions.

 

Last term I was also targeted, lobbied, discriminated against, and falsely accused by private interest groups with vested interests – they wanted to silence me. This is all documented and it has impacted me greatly. The extent of this took many lawyers to unravel but now my track record and my safety are protected. I now have a legal defence team to protect my reputation from being besmirched by those who wish to get profit using taxpayers’ money.

 

I will not be silenced this term.

 

In my private life, when politics permits, I will be getting back to protecting the coastal lands, waters, and wildlife with my favourite science organization who can also write covenants and protect lands: Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

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