PO Box 30063, 3989 Quadra St., Victoria BC, V8X 5E1


February 2008 Newsletter

Dear BVCA members

The BVCA directors met on January 30. We had a presentation from the Saanich Emergency Preparedness Program. The primary aim of this program is to have individual households make preparations for emergency events and to be self sufficient for up to seven days. Once this is achieved, neighbourhoods are encouraged to organize in such a way that information such as neighbourhood skills and lists of people likely to need help are available. We have arranged for another presentation to be given at our AGM (tentatively scheduled for April 3) and also there will be a table providing information about Emergency Preparedness for a half hour before the meeting commences. The Emergency Preparedness Program is holding workshops on Feb 10 at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre and March 8 at Pearkes Recreation Centre. There is no charge for the workshops but registration is required through the Recreation Centre.

One of our directors, Dave Charlebois, was recently featured in the Times Colonist for his work on promoting blood and bone marrow donations. Dave has donated over 100 units of blood himself and has also been a bone marrow donor with his donation successfully treating a girl in Ontario who had an otherwise fatal genetic disease. Dave described the highly gratifying experience of being able to offer someone and their family a chance of survival. His goal at this time is encourage others to volunteer for these services.

The directors, with the experienced help of one of the BVCA members, are planning a newsletter to be delivered to every home in the Blenkinsop Valley prior to our AGM. The intent of this is to make people aware of the BVCA work over this past year and to encourage membership renewals and new memberships. If you can help us by delivering some of the newsletters we would appreciate hearing from you.

The membership of the Agriculture Committee was approved by the directors. Two of its members are active farmers, one member is on the verge of starting farming, two experienced people have agreed to provide a consulting role and there is one BVCA director present in an ex officio role.

Saanich Parks is now working on the Outerbridge Park (formerly Shangri-la) and expects it will be ready for the public to use sometime this spring.

The directors received a report about issues of interest to the farming community which included concerns about fill deposit, marketing courses available to farmers, the therapeutic community proposal for the Woodwyn Farm and proposed changes to the Urban Containment Boundary in the Highlands.

The directors are in the process of drafting a letter to Saanich Planning about the Draft Official Community Plan. There is a proposal in this plan which outlines criteria which need to be satisfied in order to remove land from the ALR and the directors would like to see this tightened and also to ensure that it does not contradict another policy which promotes a buffer between agricultural land and redevelopment and subdivision proposals.

Saanich recently referred two proposals to the directors for their input. One involves the division of a farm within a family which the directors supported. The other involved a sewer connection for health reasons because of a failing septic field. The directors did not support this latter proposal at this time because there seemed to be a lack of information in the package we received. Specifically, there was no confirmation provided that the old system was failing or that there is a health problem. Saanich has decided to seek more information about this from VIHA. VIHA is now the agency responsible for such inspections.

With thanks,

BVCA directors


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