Friends of Bowker Creek: Save Thaywun – Bowker Creek!

The Friends of Bowker Creek Society have requested the Minister of Education, the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside, to encourage Greater Victoria School District 61 follow the prescribed process should they wish to dispose of the 1.9 acre south-west portion of the land that was once Richmond Elementary School and is now the south campus of Lansdowne Middle School. This property lays wholly within the District of Saanich.

Bowker Creek was first known as Thaywun – coho salmon stream – by the Songhees Nation of the lək̓ʷəŋən People.

You may read here the letter from the FoBCS.

How may you as a Saanich resident help?

  1. Read the letter from the FoBCS to the Minister to understand how SD61 has apparently ignored the rules put in place to deal with exactly this type of scenario.
  2. Email the Trustees trustees@sd61.bc.ca asking to stop the sale of this public land, and instead keep it for flood mitigation and outdoor education for children – where they can have safe access to the creek, see wildlife, and learn about riparian restoration and what it means to care for and be connected to a creek in the city.
  3. Speak at the School Board Meeting. Members of the public may register to speak at the Jan. 24th meeting by Wednesday 12 pm noon of the prior week (Wed. Jan. 19th) by emailing your request to speak to: vhanley@sd61.bc.ca or phone: 250.475.4106 (Victoria Hanley is the Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer and Board of Education). You are allowed up to 5 minutes to make your presentation. Please consider registering to speak, or write to the Board of Trustees at: trustees@sd61.bc.ca to express your values for this property and stake in the proposed sale.
  4. Spread the word

Please note that SD61 negotiated and signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement in September 2021, prior to any ministerial approval, and absent of any discussion of alternative community uses with local governments, community organizations or the public. This appears to be contrary to your Ministry policies, disrespects the principles of administrative fairness and may constrain you as a decision maker. This also undermines what our educational system stands for and profoundly damages public trust in our institutions.

Letter from FoBCS to Minister of Education

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