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

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Victoria property company plans to replace Saanich apartments with townhouses

Abstract Developments plans 26 townhouses for Gorge Road West

Curtain closes on Sidney’s Star Cinema location

The iconic theatre will move to a temporary location after its last showing Sunday

Heads up! A new take on A Christmas Carol comes to the Mac

Wonderheads tackle the beloved Dickens classic, Dec. 17-18 at Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Most Read