Rotary Club of Oak Bay Rotary

Bulletin 28 August 2018


By Tom Croft.


Membership Development Month! Be the Inspiration!


With Wendy on cash and Will on 50/50 the meeting was opened right on time by President Peter.  He reminded us of members who continue to be the inspiration to the Club.


O’ Canada was sung to the wrong version. “All of Us Command” please!


Greeting and Grace were provided by Karen.


Greeter Gary introduced Rosanna Carline visiting Rotarian from Lima Colonial Club, Peru, Mike Sharlow, well known to us, guest of his brother Steve and Casey Edge, Executive Director of Victoria Residential Builders Association our guest Speaker.



Wendy provided additional information about the October 2nd meeting with the Atlanta Rotary Club and the World Grant Project with the Native Friendship Centre.


Heather provided an update on the Food Rescue Program Chef’s Challenge.  The event will raise funds for the Commercial Kitchen, which has been installed by Hero Works and requires funding to complete. Get tickets from Heather. The event takes place on 29 September.


Steve provided an update on the Youth Services program that helps fund luncheons at our Club meetings for Interact and Roteractors!  Please contribute!


Wynne The Celebrations Master was given free rein.

Love and Romance, dating in the digital age.  Fines were levied for meeting online, meeting in a bar, Cougars, Star Crossed Lovers,

Happy Bucks from Gary, Lynne, Tom, Heather, Will and, Jack.

Lynne has 18 years in Rotary with perfect attendance. She donated $100 to the Foundation.


The 50/50 draw was won my Steve, but he drew a clear marble.


Casey Edge our speaker provided an overview of housing issues in the Regional Area.


Housing by the Numbers – Paths to Affordability

Casey Edge, Victoria Residential Builders Association

  • Victoria core’s average single-family home price $880,000
  • 1963 Saanich home: 16,000 sq. ft lot $775,000 & house $112,000
  • Over 100 years ago, 2,000 sq. ft lots in James Bay
  • Boom, Bust and Echo predicted millennials will need housing
  • 3,862 new homes last year, almost 2x average but still not enough
  • Pent-up demand from global housing crisis stagnation 2008 – 2014
  • BCREA Economist Cameron Muir: Speculation Tax, Foreign Buyers Tax, etc. “will do nothing” to improve housing affordability – numbers too small


  • Lowest home prices in Atlantic provinces from $184,000 to $254,000
  • Highest unemployment in Canada.
  • Biggest decline in population aged 15 to 64
  • BC has lowest unemployment in Canada at 4.8%, Victoria lower at 4.2%
  • BC with highest average home price – $700,000, Canada – $481,000
  • Demographics, strong economy, employment, interest rates drive demand
  • People still need jobs to buy even affordable homes
  • Five years ago, Victoria had the 3rd lowest single- family housing starts in 40 years


  • 35% Canadian population (bust & echo) groups in prime homebuying years + 29% boomers in prime downsizing years = 64% of population = demand
  • Provincial policy of self-governance for small municipalities prevents regional planning
  • ALR and urban containment boundaries restrict growth
  • Costly process of achieving density and housing affordability
  • Local developer says City of Victoria approval process costs $85,000 per condo unit
  • Community demands for low density, affordable housing with green space and mature trees close to downtown Victoria not financially viable. Green space costs added to every unit


  • CD Howe Institute:  govt regulations & fees add more than a quarter million dollars to new housing in Greater Victoria
  • Federal GST, BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) did not exist 30 years ago
  • $2 billion+ from PTT – more than revenue from mining, energy, forestry, Crown land tenures & natural gas
  • Municipalities boost permit fees, demand “affordable housing fees,” amenities
  • Many building permits a tax, not a fee: “value of construction” permits generated $2 million surplus in Saanich


  • VRBA Built Green, Passive Home builders say Step Code Tier 5 adds at least $55,000 to $110,000 to new home ($80,000 avg)
  • BC govt claims added cost only $17,450
  • Signed by Minister before cost/benefit analysis
  • Step Code “greenwashing” applies only to new homes and saves 1 or 2 air changes per hour
  • Most GHG’s from older homes (150,000 in CRD) with 10 to 40 air changes
  • Retrofit tax credit will do far more to reduce GHGs
  • Step Code undermines code standard and consumer protection
  • Other ill-advised govt energy efficiency initiatives: asbestos insulation, urea formaldehyde, leaky condo from fast-tracking energy efficiency


  • Affordable Built Green home costs $800 annually to heat
  • Passive home/Step Code 5 home costs $200
  • $600 difference
  • $60,000 over basic code home (low estimate) for Passive/Step Code 5 home
  • $600 annual saving requires 100 years to pay off
  • Add $40,000 amortization over 25 years = $100,000 real cost to homeowner & 165 years to pay off


Water = Vapor Liquid Solid, all around us. Building envelope is physics plus carpentry

  • $3 million Supreme Court judgment against Delta in 2001 re: leaky condo
  • SFU scientist recently discovered North Shore municipalities high risk for radon gas yet municipalities approved Step Code 3 without radon venting
  • Saanich, Oak Bay, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Colwood considering Step Code
  • Langford shows leadership supporting Built Green, rejecting Step Code, waiting for National Code diligence – also region’s most affordable, energy efficient homes


Building bylaws are one of local governments’ greatest exposures to liability risks.” 
– Municipal Insurance Association


Paths to Affordability

  • Amalgamate municipalities when in best interests of regional planning, transportation, infrastructure
  • Plan regionally and pre-zone, get started on LRT, amalgamated Calgary started their LRT in 1980 with a population similar to Greater Victoria   
  • Establish affordable housing targets, require mandatory housing development education for councilors, and create education program for community associations & residents   
  • Build affordable housing on vacant federal, provincial, municipal land
  • Mandatory development approval timelines & affordable fees (Saanich has 87% initial rejection rate for building permits)
  • Review urban containment boundaries
  • Use fact-based 3rd party analysis for environment issues, not EDPA
  • Enforceable Best Practices for Community Association Land Use Committees
  • Mandatory credible cost/benefit analysis focused on health and safety for new building regulations
  • Single provincial building code standard supported by education, affordability, proven practice
  • End housing as cash machine for 3 levels of govt
  • Index GST new home rebate to inflation, remove multiple Property Transfer Tax (PTT) charges on development of single home, change municipal permit fees from tax to service fee  
  • Invest part of $2 billion PTT in reno tax credit for energy efficiency retrofits, asbestos mitigation and seismic upgrades in a region where a very large earthquake is a certainty


 Our column appears Wednesdays in Home section of Times Colonist and online at and


Heather thanked Casey for his talk and asked for a copy of his presentation.

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