Posts Categorized: Capital Region District

Engaged – Crib Notes on Local Government

After I published my first blog article in late June 2016 titled “Crib Notes on Local Government,” readers asked for a sequel explaining just how the public can get involved and engaged with their local municipal council and government.   While this may not be gripping material that keeps readers awake at night, it might be helpful to those who want to take a more active role in their community.  Please note that my point of reference for this article…

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Crib Notes on Local Government

Regional and local governments in the Capital Region have taken some hard knocks in the past few years, primarily on issues of spending, project management or transparency.  The increase in public angst and criticism seems to be a common part of the political landscape these days.  As a private citizen now engaged differently with my community and local government, a different vantage point brings new observations and insights and rekindles other long held beliefs. As a former three-term Municipal Councillor,…

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Spring Blooms in the Capital Region

As crocuses and daffodils start poking up their heads in many gardens around the Capital Region, some big local, regional and provincial issues are blooming right along with them.  Homelessness, amalgamation, the housing crunch and sewage create a bouquet of challenges for local politicians and communities.  While no one promised elected officials a rose garden in the 2014 municipal election, the challenges facing them are thorny nevertheless. Homelessness is an issue that tests public tolerance and acceptance, despite worthy efforts…

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New Leadership “Across the Board”

With a new year, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board welcomes a new Board Chair, Mayor Barb Desjardins of Esquimalt. In addition to Mayor Desjardins’ election, one that suggests a desire for positive change and new direction, newly appointed Chairs/Vice-Chairs of Standing and Select Committees also take their seats.  These appointments involve careful thought and consideration by the Board Chair, and require the ability to recognize other politicians sitting at the table for their talents, skills and political experience.  It’s…

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My “Top Ten” Priorities for 2016

“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” (Irish Proverb) It’s funny how traveling away from home, celebrating the Christmas and New Year holiday season or lying in bed with the flu can provide the luxury of some time for personal reflection.  The end of 2015 found me experiencing all three.  I also discovered the quotation above, an Irish proverb that seems particularly apt at this time. As for traveling, once again, the best part of visiting…

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WHERE THERE’S SMOKE…

Maybe it’s because we suffered a house fire in 1998.  Or that we lived for 18 years on the edge of densely forested John Dean Park on Mt. Newton…  Or because I was part of a North Saanich Municipal Council that took proactive steps, through the use of Development Permits, to identify and designate lands and wooded areas of the municipality subject to interface wildfires, that I take so seriously this summer’s unusually dry weather, record-breaking temperatures and precedent-setting number…

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Meeting Packed

Overflowing a room at the Delta Ocean Pointe, the June 24th combined Westside Solutions and Eastside Select Committee groups welcomed a crowd of about 250.  The evening was warm and the temperature inside the room got warmer as people moved around, talked to each other and listened to Mayors Lisa Helps, Barb Desjardins and Carol Hamilton outline the public engagement process so far.  Flip charts showing current shortlisted sites formed an outer circle around the room that seemed small as…

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COMING DOWN THE PIPE

Please mark your calendars for this important Public Meeting on Regional Sewage Treatment On June 24, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Capital Regional District (CRD), through the Westside Solutions group and the Eastside Select Committee, will host a public meeting on regional sewage treatment and recovery, including further updates on site selection.  I believe that this meeting is one of the most important public meetings on this topic to occur since the last municipal election in November…

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Saanich, Sewage and Scuttlebutt

In the last six months, some of the most interesting and complete investigative journalism into local and regional government has occurred in Focus Magazine by editors Leslie Campbell and David Broadland and on-air with journalist and reporter Ian Jessop of  CFAX 1070 Radio. SAANICH The ongoing situation in Saanich, reflected by an apparent disconnect between duly-elected Mayor Richard Atwell and some Saanich Council members and senior staff, continues to unfold according to this month’s Focus Magazine.  In a follow up…

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Setting Our “Sites” on Sewage

Since the last municipal election in November 2014, a lot has changed in the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) ongoing debate about sewage treatment.  It appears that a definite shift has occurred as a result of a political shift in leadership around the CRD Board table.  New Mayors have brought new vision about how best to treat our waste-water and recover its by-products.  Two groups have formed, the Westside group of Colwood, Langford, Songhees and View Royal and the Eastside group…

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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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