Reflecting on a year of progress at the Capital Regional District

Dec 19, 2023

Opinion editorial by Capital Regional District Board Chair, Colin Plant:

As each year comes to a close I make a habit of looking back and reflecting on what took place. As Chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board, I would like to share some of the progress we made during the first year of our four-year term. 

This first year has been pivotal as it allowed us to shape the future of the CRD by deciding on our 2023-26 Board Priorities. These priorities serve as our roadmap, guiding our actions and setting our focus over the term. The five priories we identified were: Transportation; Housing; Climate Action & Environment; First Nations; and Governance. With these in place, we have set the foundation for a future filled with collaborative efforts and meaningful change.

Transportation: This year we started working towards a new collaborative approach to transportation governance. We have engaged with local governments, electoral areas, the province, and relevant partner agencies to identify any changes needed to optimize regional transportation governance. Using the feedback we received we are now designing a transportation service that will best enable the region to meet its transportation mode share and reduce carbon pollution. Moving forward we will continue to work with our partners to gather input on that service design. 

Housing: Housing affordability is an issue that continues to challenge many individuals and families in our region. In response to this, we made it a priority to address the housing crisis head-on. In 2023, by collaborating with local, provincial, and federal partners we added over 200 new affordable homes to our region. The CRD Board also intends to increase its borrowing authority through the Land Assembly, Housing and Land Banking service to $85 million to support potential partnership opportunities to increase the supply of affordable, inclusive, and adequate housing in the region.

Governance: One of our significant achievements this year was the creation of the Salt Spring Island Local Community Commission. This new commission has broadened local elected oversight on Salt Spring Island for Island wide services ensuring that its unique needs are recognized and addressed. The Commission will play a vital role in shaping service delivery on the island, and we are excited to see the positive impact it will have on the community moving forward.

Climate Action & Environment: Thoughtfully handling waste is a crucial facet of demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship. This year our Solid Waste Management Plan was approved by the province and we are beginning to implement policy changes that have the potential to divert up to 40,500 tonnes of waste away from Hartland Landfill each year. We also have a new provider for our curbside recycling pickup program which will begin collecting recycling in January. The contract includes the requirement to use low or zero-emission vehicles for collection. The 25-vehicle vehicle fleet includes 23 trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and two electric-powered trucks.

First Nations: We partnered with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, the South Island Prosperity Partnership, the City of Victoria, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and Animikii to launch the South Island Indigenous Business Directory to support Indigenous economic reconciliation by building new relationships and connections. This directory provides new opportunities for relationships and partnerships between community members and the many Indigenous-owned businesses across the region.

While we celebrate these accomplishments, we recognize that there is more work to be done. The challenges our region faces are complex and multifaceted. However, with a strong vision, clear priorities, and the support of our community, we are well-positioned to make a lasting impact.

Looking ahead, we will continue to build on our successes and address the pressing issues that our region faces. We remain committed to our goals of sustainability, inclusivity, and the betterment of the lives of all CRD residents.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the CRD Board, our dedicated staff, and our community for their unwavering support and commitment to our shared vision. Together, we have achieved great things, and I am confident that the years to come will bring even more successes and positive changes to our beautiful region.

As we move forward, I encourage all residents to remain engaged, share their ideas, and continue working alongside us to make the Capital Regional District an even better place to live, work, and play. 

The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and government partners to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at


For media inquiries, please contact:
Zoe Gray, Manager Website and Public Engagement
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3225
Cell: 250.507.7657