Monthly Archives: April 2015

FROM THE GROUND UP

On August 13, 2003, the Capital Regional District Board adopted a “landmark agreement,” the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), cited in a report prepared in March 2003 titled The Capital Regional District Growth Strategy:  Herding Cats Onto the Road of Sustainability, prepared by the University of Waterloo’s Department of Environment and Resource Studies.   At the time, the RGS was a precedent-setting agreement, developed and approved by all member municipalities and the regional district, representing a partnership on social, economic and environmental…

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Tackling Tough Issues

“You have a problem if regional sustainability is not a priority for this area!”    So said former BC Premier Mike Harcourt during his keynote address at the second Greater Victoria Greatest Conversation event this week.  This was the second installment to the first event held in February, and I was curious to learn more about what residents from other CRD communities are talking about when it comes to local issues related to a provincial study on amalgamation.  I was…

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Oak Bay Emergency Program Presents

Neighbours Helping Neighbours Build a Disaster-Resistant Community May 3 to May 9 is Emergency Preparedness Week in British Columbia. As part of that week, the Oak Bay Emergency Program (OBEP) will be holding a FREE information session: May 5 – 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Windsor Pavilion, 2451 Windsor Road in Oak Bay This interactive session will provide residents with detailed information on how to identify the risks, to be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of seven days…

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MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

Today’s local and regional governments are dealing with diverse issues and challenges that are more complex than ever before, often rousing the interests and passions of residents.  Local government is now much less about managing “sewers, sidewalks and streetlights,” and much more about addressing the social, economic and environmental health of its residents and communities.  As a result of higher levels of government stepping away and devolving greater responsibility to local governments, there is also need for greater community engagement,…

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MOMENTUM ON SEWAGE TREATMENT?

  With the announcement on April 8th of Mayor Lisa Helps as the new Chair of the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee (CALWMC), comes a fresh approach to this difficult issue.  Let’s face it, regional sewage treatment has been one of the greatest political, financial and operational challenges presented to this region in the last ten years.   It has often pitted communities, local leaders and experts against one another, creating a sometimes fractious debate at…

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A FINE BALANCE

The March 30, 2015 release of BC’s Privacy Commissioner’s investigative report into the Spyware debacle in Saanich produced a stunning rebuke of IT policy and practices at Saanich Municipal Hall.  The results of this investigation vindicate Mayor Richard Atwell on this issue and raise serious concerns about what appears to be a major knowledge and policy gap at Saanich staff and Council levels about current provincial privacy legislation. The results also raise another concern for me, a deeper issue that touches…

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