Posts Categorized: CRD Regional

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Art of Possibility

“Standard and social business practices are built on certain assumptions — shared understandings that have evolved from older beliefs and conditions.  And while circumstances may have changed since the start of these practices, their continued use tends to reconfirm the old beliefs.  For this reason, our daily practices feel right and true to us, regardless of whether they have evolved to keep up with the pace of change.  In just such a way, a business culture arises and perpetuates itself,…

Read More

Gender Politics — Making a Difference

Women seem to be making a breakthrough in local politics in the Capital Regional District (CRD), especially during the 2014 municipal election cycle.  Two new female faces in the City of Victoria and in Sooke (Mayors Lisa Helps and Maja Tait) join other CRD women Mayors Barb Desjardins, Carol Hamilton and Alice Finall.  While this may not reflect a big gain in numbers for women over time at the Mayor level, it suggests to me a trend by women towards…

Read More

Revisiting Sewage Treatment – My Take

I wanted to re-post this article from last August 2014, given that sewage will top the CRD’s agenda as a new Board will be installed on December 10th.  I believe that proactive leadership will be critical on this significant issue, making the selection of a new CRD Board Chair key to cooperation and collaboration ahead.  Let’s hope that the new Board Chair is a community leader who has demonstrated openness and the ability to bring communities together, especially for Victoria,…

Read More

SEWAGE TREATMENT – WHERE WE GO FROM HERE – MY OPINION

It has been a hot summer this year, in more ways than one.  The CRD’s “failed” sewage treatment plan continues to generate a lot of heat but not the kind that powers our lights or warms our homes.  It’s heat of the political kind, turned up on Esquimalt’s local Mayor and Council, as well as Esquimalt residents, because of their refusal to allow a treatment plant to be built at McLoughlin Point. The fear mongering and finger-pointing aimed at Esquimalt…

Read More