Victoria, BC ‑ The Capital Regional District Board received a report on the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan, which describes the progress made in each of the plan’s five strategic priority areas: climate action, environmental protection, housing, regional transportation and waste management. With sustainability as the over-arching theme of the strategic plan, the Region acted on 82 strategies working toward achieving specific measures of success in each priority area.
“This report clearly shows that the CRD has made significant progress in achieving success in the priorities of housing and environmental protection,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “Though significant gains were also made in the other areas, climate action, regional transportation and waste management will need continued attention in the future in order to achieve our sustainability goals.”
Environmental protection success indicators include the acquisition of 1,674 ha of parkland and extension of the land acquisition fund for 10 years. Success was also experienced in integrated watershed management, particularly with the completion of the Bowker Creek Blueprint, a 100-year action plan to restore the creek’s watershed.
In the strategic priority of housing, 310 new affordable housing units were created, including four new public-private partnership ventures. The Regional Housing Trust Fund (RHTF) became a permanent fund and annual contributions to the fund rose by $59,115 since 2009 to $882,595.
Transportation saw continued increases in travel times and little mode share change in total trips based on 2006 data, however the recently launched Origin Destination Survey will update these trends and inform new decisions. The region is positioning itself to take on a greater role in regional transportation through recent Board decisions and ministerial discussions regarding transit. This work is ongoing and will carry over into the next municipal term.
In waste management, a key outcome was to attain full compliance with the ministerial order for the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Strategy and this was achieved in 2010. The Region is waiting on provincial and federal commitments to the project before starting implementation. Success was also achieved with solid waste diversion rates rising from 38 to 43 percent and with new and ongoing recycling programs. More needs to be done on kitchen scraps as well as to address the inflow and infiltration to aging sewer infrastructure in the Region. This work will also carry over into the next municipal term.
The CRD and municipalities are on target for fulfilling obligations under the BC Climate Action Charter and have implemented a number of innovative projects to reduce energy and emissions from corporate operations. Progress towards achieving 2020 community-wide GHG emissions targets is expected to be slow and requires continued investment towards retrofitting existing commercial and residential building stocks, increasing sustainable transportation options, and maximizing resource recovery. The CRD and municipalities continue to work with partners, citizens and other levels of government to reduce per capita energy use, implement renewable energy technologies, and shift behaviours in order to reduce emissions and prepare for climate change impacts.
With the conclusion of the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan, a new planning process will begin following the November 2011 Municipal Elections. Outstanding work on the current strategic priorities may be reconsidered by the 2012 CRD Board.
For further information please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager CRD Corporate Communications