Posts Tagged: CRD

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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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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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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Over 200 Packed the Room

“Nothing About Us Without Us” In his first large Town Hall Forum on Poverty and Homelessness, MLA Andrew Weaver welcomed over 200 people to the University of Victoria to participate in what was dubbed “The difficult conversation.”  I was asked to moderate the Forum (a real privilege for me) and was impressed with the large number of people who took the time to attend.  More important, with support and help from Reverend Al Tysick and his Dandelion Society, as well…

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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,…

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Managing Risk — My Overview of Local and Regional Government to 2018

As new and returning Mayors, Councillors and Regional Directors across the Capital Regional District (CRD) sign on to a four-year term, many will be welcoming opportunities for positive change, new ideas and improvements that make a difference to their communities.       After all, local government is about what’s possible, what’s new and what initiatives and projects will matter most to local residents.  However, just over three weeks into the new term, I sense the wider landscape is beginning to…

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My Take on What’s Ahead for Oak Bay

I read with interest Mayor Nils Jensen’s “to do” list in the December 7th Times Colonist profile on his election win.  While many of the priorities sounded familiar to me (part of my own campaign platform), the following is a more complete list of what I believe Oak Bay’s Mayor should focus on during the first six to twelve months of this new Council term: work cooperatively on a proactive action plan with Mayors Helps and Atwell, for an Eastside…

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