Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board initiated dispute resolution on the 2016 Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) bylaw at its February 22, 2017 meeting.
In the provincially-mandated RGS update process, the CRD Board is required to notify the province if not all municipalities agree to the RGS bylaw. Six municipalities resolved to accept the 2016 RGS and seven resolved to reject it. “In a region as diverse as ours, it is understandable that agreement would be difficult to reach on a document such as the RGS,” said CRD Chair Barbara Desjardins. “It is important that we truly listen to one another and that is why the CRD Board unanimously agreed to request a non-binding process to resolve the issues in the RGS.” The Board also resolved to request that the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area be given an equal voice in any dispute resolution process.
The Local Government Act sets out several different dispute resolution options, including non-binding resolution. The CRD Board will initiate dispute resolution by notifying the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. The Minister will direct a process to resolve the dispute, taking into consideration the Board’s request to use a non-binding process.
The RGS guides decisions on regional issues such as transportation, growth and settlement patterns. The 2016 RGS provides population projections to the year 2038 and updates policy regarding water servicing, growth management, the environment and infrastructure, housing and community, transportation and economic development. The 2016 RGS also provides new policy regarding food systems and climate action.
A public hearing for the RGS was held on October 19, 2016. The Board considered feedback from the public hearing and directed minor refinements in response. The Board referred the RGS for municipal acceptance on December 2, 2016. The referral period ended on February 2, 2017.
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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 all levels of government 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 www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications