Client: District Municipality of Saanich

The Need

Under a two-year Resilient Saanich policy development initiative, the newly appointed Technical Committee (RSTC) was faced with the extraordinary challenge of getting established and fulfilling its first deliverable in the midst of the COVID-19 world pandemic. 

Project Description

Having only met face-to-face once, the Committee called for a full-day facilitated workshop in early Autumn. In preparation for this workshop, Kim Walker conversed one-on-one with Saanich Staff, Council Liaison and Committee members to gauge their needs and expectations.  Although the initial purpose of the workshop was to have a first draft the goals and objectives for the Resilient Saanich Environmental Policy Framework (EPF), four additional objectives were added to: 1) establish a foundation for productive committee work; 2) review and refine the scope of work; 3) review respective roles and relationships; and 4) develop a work plan.

Services & Deliverables

The workshop was custom-designed to include a series of structured discussions, augmented with visualization exercises and opportunities for open dialogue. The weather and venue enabled the RSTC to meet in-person, with physical distancing and other COVID-19 health safety protocols in place. After introductions and territorial acknowledgements were made, the day unfolded as follows:

  • Laying the Groundwork – context & purpose of the RSTC, team building
  • Scope of Work – expectations & context, resources, roles & relationships
  • Understanding Policy Frameworks – purpose, key elements & applications, examples from other jurisdictions
  • Environmental Policy Framework – regulatory/management context, community/environmental context, key components/missing elements
  • Committee Workplan – tasks, timelines, responsibilities, deadlines, follow-up actions
  • Committee Meeting – separate meeting carved out for formal RSTC motions & decisions


Members of the Resilient Saanich Technical Committee established a good foundation to build from, including the appointment of a Chair and a detailed workplan.  The Committee and Saanich department heads engaged in open dialogue which increased their understanding of respective roles and how the Committee’s work will be addressed across the municipality at the staff level.  The RSTC also gained valuable insights into pitfalls to avoid.  And by the end of the day, the Committee developed a preliminary list of principles for best practice and goals for the environmental policy framework.