Climate Action

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Municipalities in BC have pledged to reduce their community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

Households directly account for 40% of BC’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and Central Saanich is committed to working with residents to improve our homes and infrastructure.

All levels of government, industry and the public must work together to reduce emissions and respond to climate impacts.

Please check out Updates below and subscribe on the right of the page to receive updates straight to your inbox!

Also check out our website for how you can calculate and reduce your carbon footprint: https://www.centralsaanich.ca/climate-action.


Municipalities in BC have pledged to reduce their community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

Households directly account for 40% of BC’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and Central Saanich is committed to working with residents to improve our homes and infrastructure.

All levels of government, industry and the public must work together to reduce emissions and respond to climate impacts.

Please check out Updates below and subscribe on the right of the page to receive updates straight to your inbox!

Also check out our website for how you can calculate and reduce your carbon footprint: https://www.centralsaanich.ca/climate-action.


  • Is your home heated by oil?

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    You may be eligible for 0% interest financing to replace your oil heating with an electric heat pump.

    You can save money and improve home comfort! Our new program enables Central Saanich homeowners to fund up to $12,000 of the cost of getting off oil heating through an interest-free loan repaid on property tax bills over 10 years. Plus, you can take advantage of other rebates available right now.

    Converting to an electric heat pump helps our community reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the risk of oil spills and introduces cooling power in the face of longer, hotter summers!

    Interested? Please let us know how to reach you by filling out this form.

    For more information, read the FAQ or contact Central Saanich at climate@csaanich.ca or 250.652.4444

  • Winter Climate Action Update

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    We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer Lukianchuk to the team! Jennifer has extensive experience in the Climate Action and Natural Environment profession, including being a registered professional Biologist, most recently with the City of New Westminster where she spent 14 years.

    District withdraws from CRD Climate Action Service

    At a time when climate action is absolutely critical, we need to ensure that every dollar invested is having meaningful impacts in our community. Therefore, the District has decided to stop contributing to the CRD’s Climate Action Service, which would have seen the 2022 contribution increase from $21,000 to approximately $64,000. “Although we are a small municipality, Central Saanich has been a leader in taking climate action, and we want to get the best return on our investment in this work with highly tangible results,” said Mayor Ryan Windsor.

    Staff report to examine options for increasing public chargers

    Council has asked staff to examine options for the District to incentivize existing commercial centres to install electric vehicle charging stations. Staff will be returning to Council with a report outlining options in the New Year. This work complements the District’s E-vehicle and e-bike strategy.

    Is your house heated by oil?

    You may be eligible for a 0% interest financing to replace it with an electric heat pump.

    You can save money and improve home comfort! Our new program enables Central Saanich homeowners to fund the up-front cost of getting off oil heating through an interest free loan repaid on property tax bills over 10 years. Plus, you can take advantage of the rebates available right now.

    Converting to a heat pump reduces the risk of oil spills and introduces cooling power in the face of longer, hotter summers!

    The program is one of the first in the province. For more information contact Central Saanich at planning@csaanich.ca or 250.652.4444 or see CSaanich.ca/Climate

  • Tree Appreciation Day 2021

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    Orchard rejuvenated with fruit trees and native plants

    Thanks to all of the community members who came out to Tree Day! We planted 12 fruit trees, 4 malus trees and a variety of native plants at Centennial Park.

    A special thank you to Earl Claxton Jr, the Central Saanich Lions, and Tree Canada.


    Central Saanich residents are invited to learn about local plants and get their hands dirty at this year’s Tree Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

    The all-ages event begins at 10 a.m. and includes:

    • native plant education from elder Earl Claxton Jr. of the Tsawout First Nation
    • tree planting demo by Central Saanich Parks staff
    • community planting of native shrubs and edible fruit trees in the Centennial Park orchard
    • community planting of trees along the Edith Cooke diamond in Centennial Park

    The event will be held in the orchard area of Centennial Park near the lawn bowling club and batting cage.

    “Each year Tree Appreciation Day provides skills and awareness to the community, and this year’s event will touch on two important topics,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor. “I’m happy that we will have a local indigenous elder to share his knowledge with us about native plants, and adding more fruit trees to the orchard area is a wonderful way to demonstrate local food production on a public site.”

    Central Saanich Council’s 2021-2022 Strategic Plan emphasizes investing climate action and a healthy natural environment. The District also heard during a recent survey that food security is a top concern of residents.

    • What: Tree Appreciation Day
    • Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021
    • Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Location: Centennial Park (Hovey Road and Wallace Drive in Saanichton). Please meet near the lawn bowling club.
    • Note: Please bring gardening gloves.

    Did you know?

    • One large tree can provide a day’s oxygen for up to four people.
    • Trees capture carbon and become carbon ‘sinks’ which reduce the Greenhouse Effect. (You need about 500 full-sized trees to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by a typical car driven 20,000 km/year.)
    • Trees provide shelter for wildlife.
    • Trees intercept rainfall and reduce run-off, thereby functioning like retention/detention basins.
    • Trees have a psychological impact of trees on people’s moods, emotions and enjoyment of their surroundings
  • See the presentations on Heat Pumps and Electric Vehicle 101

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    Did you miss the recent presentations for Heat Pump Benefits and Rebates? How about EV 101?

    Watch the video presentation of Heat Pump Benefits Presentation - presented by BetterHomesBC.
    View the Electric Vehicle 101 Slideshow - presented by Emotive

    These events were offered by the CleanBC Community Energy Coach Program.

  • Electric Vehicles 101

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    Thursday, September 16 at 7 p.m. ONLINE


    Approximately 65% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Central Saanich result from driving personal and commercial vehicles that use fossil fuels (gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane).

    This presentation by Emotive covers the basics of driving and shopping for electric vehicles, including the EV driving experience, types of EVs and chargers, myths and concerns.

    The presentation will be delivered by Michael Stanyer from the provincial Emotive program, who has driven a variety of electric cars all over BC.

    REGISTER ONLINE: https://csaanich-ca.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pfu2srzspH9CASvHekOA4NtlE83CiJFtB

    Can’t make it? The sessions will be posted on our website later this fall.



  • Considering a Heat Pump?

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    Join Saanich Peninsula Communities for an hour-long event to learn about the benefits of heat pumps, their benefits & available rebates at a free presentation!


    Online on September 29 at 7 pm REGISTER NOW

    In-person on Oct. 3 at 2 pm REGISTER NOW

    About this event. Heat pumps are the most efficient, and climate-friendly, heating and cooling system on the market today. Join friends and neighbours and learn what a heat pump is, the benefits of heat pumps, how to find a program registered contractor and what rebates, financing offers and supports are available to help you upgrade your heating system.

    Did you know? There are up to $3,000 in rebates from the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program when installing a heat pump. There are rebates available for upgrading from electric, natural gas, oil, propane, and wood to a heat pump.

    The event/seminar will be approximately 1 hour long with a short Q&A period following the presentation. To attend, you must register. You will receive an automatic confirmation email upon registration and a reminder one day prior.

    Space is limited so make sure to register early!

    This event is offered by the CleanBC Community Energy Coach Program





  • What does resilient, equitable, and low-carbon travel look like on Vancouver Island in the future?

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    What does resilient, equitable and low-carbon travel look like on Vancouver Island in the future? And how do we get there?

    The District’s Climate Action & Natural Environment Coordinator joined folks from around BC in a two-day E-Mobility Visioning workshop hosted by the Community Energy Association to answer those questions! The lively discussions inspired us to envision a total shift to low-carbon active & electric transport and challenged us to define key project concepts for our respective regions to get there.

    Why focus on travel & transportation?

    Transportation accounts for 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions in BC. It’s the largest-emitting sector and the fastest growing. Passenger transport from our own vehicles and heavy-duty truck & rail freight make up the majority of these emissions, including here in Central Saanich. It’s clear that reaching our District targets of carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy by 2050 means significant changes to the way we move ourselves and our stuff. Due to the fact that 95% of BC’s electricity is generated from renewable energy (mostly hydropower), electrification of passenger and freight transport is a practical, efficient, and cost-effective component of our shift to zero-emission transportation systems. Happily, BC has the highest EV sales per capita of any jurisdiction in North America, and the federal government’s announcement at end of June that 100% of passenger car & trucks sales must be zero-emission by 2035 will only increase the pace of adoption.

    What can we take away from the E-Mobility Visioning Workshop for Vancouver Island?

    Those of us from Vancouver Island had the chance to develop key themes for our e-mobility future. Together, we identified connected communities with integrated transportation, broad electrification, and a focus on renewable energy as central to our pathway and were tasked with writing headlines from 2040 that celebrated these visions. Some of our favourites were “10-Year Celebration for Island’s Electric Train, with final station unveiled in Port Hardy” and “Last gas station converted to an electric mobility hub”. Taking into account reductions in air & noise pollution, how about: “Due to shift to electric transportation, Vancouver Island biodiversity is regenerating”. Using these themes as guideposts, we went on to identify ambitious yet realistic projects advance the vision:

    1. Full built-out EV and e-bike charging infrastructure network: A key step to advance e-mobility is inspiring confidence & peace of mind through supportive infrastructure. This includes multi-modal hubs & connections, accessible public charging, and innovative new ideas like e-bike rentals at campgrounds or tourist destinations.
    2. Zero-emission vehicle delivery zones: Use of smaller EVs & electric cargo bikes to deliver goods to city centers, helping prioritize pedestrians, active transport & local business in urban cores.
    3. Regional e-bike and recreational sea-side tourism route: Wouldn’t this be a great way to enjoy the coast of the Peninsula and southern island? No parking stress, less air & noise pollution in our shoreline communities and ecosystems, and fewer cars on the roads for short trips.

    Related to #1 above, the CRD recently presented their Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Roadmap to the Board (p. 47 – 96). The roadmap indicates that 770 new public Level 2 charging ports and 132 new DCFC ports will be required by 2030 to accelerate adoption and support EV user needs. The District’s Climate Action & Natural Environment Coordinator participated in the related workshops.

    What is the District doing to support & advance e-mobility?

    Here in Central Saanich, we’ve taken solid steps to build a strategic foundation for our e-mobility future. Our Climate Leadership Plan targets 100% conversion to zero-emission vehicles by 2050 (and an interim target of 25% by 2030!), and we have dedicated one of the five priority action areas in the plan to Transportation and Land Use to help us get there. In Fall 2020, we adopted our first District-wide EV & E-Bike Strategy, which emphasizes sustainable transportation & electrified transit and includes over 30 actions related to public & private charging networks, EVs in our community and District fleet, education, and advocacy. Our Plan also aims for 50% of all trips made by active transport by 2050 and, just this month, our Active Transportation Plan was adopted by Council after almost two years of public and stakeholder consultations!

    And we’re already well on our way in implementing these plans! Just a few weeks after adopting the EV & E-Bike Strategy, we completed a key action by implementing EV & e-bike ready requirements for all new construction in the District. This will help ensure that residents can charge at home & employees and customers have access to charging while at work or shopping. In June 2021, we broke ground on the new Saanichton Village Bike n’ Ride, a community project led by the Saanichton Village Association with generous support from local businesses, residents, and the District. The sheltered Bike n’ Ride will feature bike racks, an e-bike charging port, a bike repair station, seating & solar lighting, and is set to be completed by August. The District already manages several public charging stations – including at the Cultural Centre and Municipal Hall – with plans to install more over the next year. This is to keep pace with the growing number of EVs in the region, with data from ICBC showing that 2% of all vehicles registered in the District in 2020 were EVs and a further 2% were hybrid vehicles. In our own fleet, we have acquired a half dozen EVs and an e-bike for use by our Public Works team for water metering.

    What resources & rebates are available for e-bikes and EVs?

    If you’re considering purchasing an EV or e-bike, take advantage of the many rebates available! In April 2021, after years of community and municipal advocacy, the province announced that e-bikes are now exempt from PST. This will likely save you hundreds of dollars on your purchase! E-bikes are a great way to tackle longer commutes, travel in rural areas, and leave the car at home for quick grocery trips and local chores. If you’re ready to scrap a vehicle, you can receive a rebate of $1,050 towards the purchase of an e-bike through the Scrap-It program. Lastly, the province’s program providing $1,700 for businesses purchasing a cargo e-bike is still on! Learn more about the Specialty Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI), which also provides rebates on electric motorcycles, utility trucks, buses and more.

    The CleanBC Go Electric rebates helps to make EVs more affordable, providing $3,000 for the purchase or lease of a new battery electric, long-range plug-in hybrid electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and $1,500 for a shorter-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. When you stack on the rebates from the federal iZEV program, you could see a total rebate of up to $8,000! There are also rebates available to help with installing a Level 2 charging station in a single-family home (up to $350) or in your condo or apartment (up to $2,000). For the latter, PlugIn BC’s EV Charging Station Advisors are here to help with five free hours of advice for employers, residents of multi-unit residential buildings and strata councils.

    Check out the series of EV factsheets & videos created by the CRD, City of Victoria and District of Saanich through their EV awareness campaign. And of course, PlugShare can help you find the closest EV charging station when you’re out and about! Available online and as a free app for iSO and Android.

  • BC’s draft Climate Preparedness & Adaptation Strategy is open for public comment

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    We’re only halfway through the summer, and already we’ve experienced record-breaking heat waves, low rainfall and drought conditions, and devastating wildfires across the province. BC’s climate is changing, and these types of climate impacts are expected to become more frequent and severe in the future, affecting our health, treasured ecosystems and non-human beings, livelihoods, infrastructure, water supply, and agriculture.

    As part of climate adaptation and resilience measures being taken by all levels of government, the government of BC has produced a draft Climate Preparedness & Adaptation Strategy: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/climatereadybc/ - and you’re invited to provide feedback and ideas! The strategy is open for public comment until August 12. Individuals can submit comments to ClimateReadyBC@gov.bc.ca while organizations should review the written submission criteria before submitting.

    The strategy aims to strengthen our capacity to anticipate and respond to climate events and impacts, with the goal of protecting people, communities, and ecosystems in BC. In it, you can read about short-term actions being taken this year, such as improving provincial-level response to extreme heat and wildfire smoke for unhoused and housing insecure populations. The strategy also outlines proposed plans for 2022 – 2025, including strengthening individual & community health in a changing climate, promoting watershed security and marine resilience, and increasing building and infrastructure resilience.

    One of the priority action categories in Central Saanich’s Climate Leadership Plan is “Adaptation to Climate Change. We are working to better understand the risks we face from climate change – such as through collaboration with the CRD on a comprehensive Capital Region Coastal Flood Inundation Mapping Project – and are approaching the current Official Community Plan review through a lens of climate action & resilience. Our newly updated Tree Bylaw is a step towards enhancing the value of natural assets, as is our recent work to restore habitat in Adam Kerr Park. And let’s not forget the 360-panel solar array on the roof of Fire Station #1, a great example of local renewable energy resilience!

    Climate change will affect each one of us here in BC. Take this opportunity to share your ideas and solutions – whether personal, professional or community-based – and contribute to a strategy that is informed by our lived experiences and helps build towards a climate-resilient future.

  • Get to know our UBC Sustainability Scholar

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    Please welcome Timio Colistro, a UBC Sustainability Scholar working on a research project related to organic waste this summer! Due to the pandemic, Timio will be working remotely on this project under the guidance of Dr. Carol McAusland, UBC Professor in Food & Resource Economics and Canada Research Chair in Trade and Environment, and Ali Rivers, the District’s Climate Action & Natural Environment Coordinator. Timio will be working on his project from May to August 2021.

    Describe your research project with Central Saanich.

    My research project aims to explore different ways to take organic waste and convert it to a useable fuel. There are several different technologies currently available, so the goal will be to see what’s most feasible within Central Saanich’s unique context, as a rural community with lots of agricultural land.

    Do you have any connections to the Saanich Peninsula?

    Yes! I was raised on the Peninsula, very close to Central Saanich in fact. After several years living abroad in the US and China, I moved back to the lower island and consider the Saanich Peninsula home. The climate, community and pace of life are hard to beat.

    What are you currently studying at UBC? How are you hoping to use your degree once you graduate? What’s it been like starting a new program during Covid?

    I am currently in the Masters of Food and Resource Economics program at UBC. It was certainly an adjustment getting used to all the screen time for online classes! But our program was still fortunate to be one of the few to run some classes on campus over the past year. After graduation, I am hoping to explore careers related to food or waste policy in local or provincial government.

    What attracted you to Central Saanich’s waste-to-biofuel project? What element(s) of the project are you looking forward to most? What do you think will be the most challenging?

    There were several attractive elements: an exposure to local government, a connection to a community I call home, but mainly the opportunity to work on a project that implements principles of circular economy – that is, using the output from one process as an input to another. I think the most challenging aspect will be identifying options that work within a small rural context but could still be scaled up in the future, and that are cost-effective either way. Food waste is a social issue that’s beginning to get more attention, so I’m grateful to be working on a project that aims to tackle it.

    What is one action you’ve taken to decrease your own waste footprint?

    An easy, painless change I made was actually just a psychological one: be okay with buying “ugly” produce, like a misshapen pear. A fair amount gets wasted at the retail level when it doesn’t conform to our ideal image, even though this produce is just as tasty and nutritious. So it’s a small thing but I try to give these poor outcasts a home when I go grocery shopping. I don’t need my food to be pretty, just to provide nutrition.


    Our thanks to UBC for offering this innovative program that connects motivated students with local partners to work on real-world sustainability challenges, to BC Hydro for funding our scholar’s work this summer, and to Timio for interest & work on this project. Good luck Timio!



  • Happy Earth Day 2021!

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    Today is Earth Day. It’s a great day to celebrate our connection to the Earth, and also to re-commit in our responsibility as environmental stewards. The theme of Earth Day 2021 is #RestoreOurEarth, and a great way to do this is through our relationship with food.

    This year, we invite you to plant your own garden. Whether that’s in your yard, containers on your balcony, or near a sunny window in your house.

    To support you in this, we’re hosting a SEED GIVEAWAY.

    When: May 6

    Where: Municipal Hall, 1903 Mt Newton Cross Rd, Saanichton

    Time: 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

    Come pick up some vegetable, herb, and local native wildflower seeds.

    Local food systems are so critical to local climate resilience. They reduce the distance our food travels to get to us, reduce food waste, and increase our appreciation for the communities and ecosystems that feed us.

    Hope to see you May 6! Remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

    Happy Earth Day!


Page last updated: 28 Jan 2022, 09:35 AM