Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board received a report on the 2012-2014 CRD Strategic Plan, which describes the progress made in each of the plan’s six strategic priority areas:
- Regional Cooperation
- Regional Transportation and Planning
- Regional Housing
- Healthy Region
- Regional Infrastructure
- Regional Environmental Stewardship
"Working together to achieve regional priorities and finding efficiencies through shared service delivery that benefit the local taxpayer is how we make a difference and bring benefits to the residents of the region," said CRD Board Chair Alastair Bryson. "The strategic plan sets out our agreed upon priorities and outcomes for this term and I would like to thank CRD staff for their commitment and effort to deliver on these priorities."
Chair Bryson went on to explain, "The progress report clearly demonstrates that the CRD has achieved success in many areas, most notably in improving the health and long term vitality of our communities through investments in regional infrastructure and improvements to transportation networks. Significant progress has also been made towards conserving and protecting our ecosystems and identifying solutions to make housing more attainable for our aging and vulnerable populations."
A key component of the Regional Cooperation strategic priority is to improve awareness of the many services the CRD delivers, who it serves and the value it adds to taxpayers. In 2013, the CRD launched a new website promoting improved understanding of CRD service delivery. The new site incorporates live web-streaming of Board and committee meetings, providing residents with a front row seat to the regional decision making process. There has been growing interest and more requests for detailed information relating to how decisions are made and how the CRD can ensure that the interests and views of residents are effectively and transparently brought forward.
"The benefits of greater regional cooperation extend to local First Nations with whom we share lands and resources", said Chair Bryson. "I am pleased that we have made relationship-building with our neighbouring aboriginal governments a priority of the Board, and as a result have made substantial inroads in our own education, knowledge and understanding of First Nations interests. We are finding common ground with each unique nation, moving forward towards reconciliation, mutual recognition, sharing of infrastructure and services, and ultimately building of better, more sustainable communities."
Regional Transportation and Planning success indicators include the completion of a transportation feasibility study in 2014 which led to the approval of a new Regional Transportation Plan. The plan identifies priorities, strategies and governance models for the development of a regional multi-modal transportation system. The CRD is now working to determine the operational details associated with implementation of the Regional Transportation Plan and will consider consolidating transportation functions under a new service authority. Additionally, $474,000 of incentive funding was provided for infrastructure projects under the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan and progress was made on the E&N Rail Trail, including completion of 14.3 km of trail from Esquimalt Road to Jacklin Road and initiation of Phase 2 construction from Island Highway/4-mile Bridge to Colwood Interchange.
In Regional Housing, the Capital Regional Housing Corporation opened the Vergo Townhomes in 2012, which offers 18 affordable housing units in the region. As well, the Capital Regional Hospital District entered into partnerships to enable construction of affordable seniors housing units and the completion “The Heights” at Mount View, a 260 bed residential care facility. Additionally, the Regional Housing Trust Fund contributed and helped to secure funding approval to support the development of 106 additional affordable housing units throughout the region.
In 2013, the CRD published a User-Friendly Trail Guide promoting 12 CRD age-friendly trails to residents in support of the Healthy Region strategic priority. Another key outcome includes the construction of new affordable and much needed supportive housing and residential care beds at the CRD Mount View Campus of Care development. The CRD also initiated a Health and Wellbeing Strategy and delivered 600 environmental education programs to increase awareness and opportunities for experiencing nature in our region.
Regional Infrastructure saw continued focus on increasing infrastructure resilience and emergency preparedness for natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. This included completion of an updated Corporate Emergency Plan, Electoral Area Emergency Plans and Integrated Water Services Emergency Plan. Additionally, an Emergency Operations Centre Procedures Manual was developed and a comprehensive region-wide tsunami modelling was completed, outlining tsunami hazard lines.
Starting January 1, 2015, the CRD will no longer be accepting kitchen scraps (leftover food, meat, eggshells, fruit & veggies) within household garbage, moving our region towards the goal of a 70% diversion rate.
In the area of Regional Environmental Stewardship, work has progressed on the development of a climate sub-strategy for the Draft Regional Sustainability Strategy and in 2012 the CRD achieved and has subsequently sustained carbon neutral corporate operations. In partnership with BC Hydro and the City of Colwood, a number of rebate and incentive programs were made available to residents to increase regional capacity and action to adapt to the effects of climate change. Through a $75,000 grant from Royal Bank of Canada, the CRD deployed a 12 month public education strategy to inform and engage residents, businesses and youth regarding watershed issues.
With the conclusion of the 2012-2014 Strategic Plan, a new planning process will begin following the November 2014 Municipal Elections. Outstanding work on the current strategic priorities may be reconsidered by the 2015 CRD Board. Results from this progress report will inform development of the 2015-2018 CRD Strategic Plan.
The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications