March 26, 2013

The meeting took place at Cordova Bay Elementary School and commenced at 7:10 PM.

1. Introductory comments were made to welcome people and to outline the agenda. Our speakers have been asked to provide their vision on “The Future of the Blenkinsop Valley”. It was noted that questions will follow and then a business meeting.

2. Matt Balanger introduced our first speaker, Illarion Gallant.

Illarion began his talk by speaking and showing pictures of pieces of Public Art which he has created. These included the “Bouquet of Memories” at the Victoria international airport, the canoe at Bastion Square and “Rye Humour” in Calgary. He also works on garden landscapes across Canada.

Illarion described an art center at Emma Lake in Saskatchewan. Artists from around the world come to this location for companionship, painting and learning. Illarion feels that something similar could be created in the Blenkinsop Valley. He feels there are several picturesque areas in the valley which would be of interest to artists and there are also suitable sites for artists to view these vistas. He showed examples of some picturesque views in the valley. Illarion feels that his definition of art is broad and includes other trades people such as chefs, another form of art which could be encouraged in the Blenkinsop Valley.

Illarion feels local and outside artists could be invited to work in the area for a two week interval. He suggested an art show could be held in the fall. Illarion feels there is a natural connection between art and agriculture. One idea would be the temporary installation of art pieces which could be seen as the public travelled through the valley.

Illarion was thanked for his talk. He then responded to several questions from the audience.

2. Members of other community associations and groups were introduced to the meeting.

3. Coyne McGhee was given recognition for being a 5th generation Blenkinsop Valley resident.

4. Earl Hannan introduced our second speaker, Mayor Frank Leonard.

Mayor Leonard described how important the Urban Containment Boundary is to planning in Saanich and feels this will prevent large changes in the Blenkinsop Valley. He pointed out that land use is a major responsibility for the municipality and he feels it would be more difficult to manage land use if there was amalgamation of several municipalities into one large regional municipality. He feels that the municipality is unlikely to alter the Urban Containment Boundary in the foreseeable future. He feels there may be some growth within the valley because there are vacant lots available. He felt there might be some pressure to expand the sewer enterprise boundary to accommodate expansion of a public facility. In general, Mayor Leonard sees only minor growth on existing available lots and does not expect major changes in the future for the Blenkinsop Valley.

Mayor Leonard then answered several questions from the audience including topics on prolonged blasting, wildlife control, regional waste water management, and the ability of the municipality to change covenants which it holds on properties.

- He indicated that under provincial legislation, farmers have the right to protect their crops from predation.
- the owner of the development involved in prolonged blasting is not doing anything illegal.
- There is no way to limit the duration of construction on a house.
- He does not know what the municipality will do to control the deer population
- He feels that politicians should have an open mind regarding the recent regional purchase of land for sludge treatment.
- A referendum is required before the Urban Containment Boundary can be changed.

Mayor Leonard was thanked by John Lawler and at this point several guests left the meeting.

4. A directors’ report was given which summarized the activities of the association over the past year. The topics included guest speakers attending the directors’ meetings, fill bylaw interim changes, Pearce Crescent play area, propane cannons, prolonged blasting, Stacy Louttit’s participation in the Paralympics, the seven Oaks therapeutic garden, a new Mt. Douglas Park access, reports from the Saanich Community Association Network, and an announcement about a pending all candidates meeting on April 29.

The 2012 directors were thanked for their work on the board. Volunteers Suzie Polinsky and Mary Bennett were thanked for their help.

5. Earl Hannan gave a treasurer’s report outlining the BVCA Financial Statement for 2012. The motion was passed to accept this financial statement. Earl also outlined the Financial Balance as of December 31, 2012 and then reviewed the proposed budget for 2013. There was a motion to accept the budget as proposed and this motion passed.

6. An election for the board membership was undertaken. All nominated candidates were elected by acclamation and this included: President, Barry Loucks, Vice President, Matt Belanger, Treasurer Earl Hannan, Secretary, Dawn Loucks, and the directors at large are: Alex Ball, Duncan Chiu, John Lawler, Joanna Linger, Phil Mesner, Illarion Gallant, and Adam Orser.

7. No new business was introduced.

8. The meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.