Public feedback encouraged on CRD and CRHD 2021 provisional financial plans

Oct 29, 2020

Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) and Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) Boards approved amended provisional Financial Plans for 2021 at the October 28th Committee of the Whole and Board meetings. Preliminary budget documents are available online for review and public feedback is encouraged on the proposed Financial Plans.

Amendments to the CRD provisional Financial Plan include an increase to the Land Acquisition Fund (LAF) of $1 per year per average household, raising an additional estimated $193,000 for park land acquisition in 2021. The LAF generates approximately $3.8 million per year for park land acquisition and has acquired over 4,800 hectares of park land since it was established in 2000. $75,000 has been added for First Nations inclusion on CRD standing, advisory and select committees pending consultation with First Nations and final bylaw adoption.

“The provisional budget is a conservative and cautious approach given the current economic climate,” said CRD Board Chair Colin Plant. “We are aware it is a challenging time and we want to continue funding important social priorities, such as housing and additional park space.”

The CRD has maintained critical services and infrastructure throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to provide reliable and essential services that play a significant role in economic recovery for the region. Many CRD services are vital to community well-being and the vast majority of CRD operations maintained service levels by implementing new measures to address health risks and safety.

The 2021 provisional Financial Plan incorporates the delivery of work and execution of priorities and initiatives that were identified in the third year of a four year planning cycle for the CRD. Approval of the provisional Financial Plan enables the organization to effectively deploy resources needed to maintain core service delivery and advance capital projects required to support development and population growth across the region.

Financial plans are the products of a rigorous strategic, corporate and financial planning process spanning many months, starting in May of the preceding year. Service planning drives the financial planning process and provides necessary information to evaluate overall organizational requirements, new initiatives, proposed service levels and implications for the budget and financial plan.

Community need summaries describe services and initiatives that directly contribute to meeting the fifteen most pressing regional needs identified in the CRD’s 2019-2022 Corporate Plan. Initiatives identified in the CRD’s Corporate Plan and Board Priorities are resourced by the CRD Board through its annual review and approval of financial plans. The Board held their annual review of strategic priorities in May 2020 and confirmed that they remain as important as ever.

The 2021 Financial Plan has been developed based on the resources required for delivery of core services, the impact of new initiatives, proposed capital programs, current economic conditions and other cost pressures such as inflation and contractual agreements. The Plan includes operating and capital budgets in addition to changes in reserve funds.

The CRD, CRHD and Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) financial plans combine to form a consolidated budget with a 1.76% increase overall for 2021. The proposed consolidated operating portion ($355 million) will pay for a range of regional services and sub-services to over 418,000 people in the region. The proposed consolidated capital portion targets $245 million in projects. The provisional Financial Plan impact is unique for each municipality, electoral area and First Nation as each participates in a different set of services. An overview is available in the 2021 Consolidated Budget Overview.

The operating portion of the provisional CRD Financial Plan pays for the daily business of the CRD in advancing Board strategic priorities, including labour, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. For 2021, the operating portion includes revenues and expenditures of $293 million, an increase of $12.7 million (4.5%) compared to the 2020 CRD Financial Plan.

The capital portion of the provisional CRD Financial Plan pays for new and enhanced infrastructure, including renewal and replacement of existing structures. This includes acquisition of buildings and facilities, as well as construction and upgrades to assets. For 2021, the capital portion includes revenues and expenditures of $185 million, a decrease of $214 million (-53.7%) compared to the 2020 CRD Financial Plan. The capital plan is expected to generate 893 jobs in the region through the flow of goods and services among various industries. A list of significant capital projects is available in the CRD Major Capital Projects.

Highlights of significant capital projects include:

  • Implementation of the Regional Housing First Program continues with construction of Hockley House, a 120-unit affordable housing project located in Langford, set to open in the spring of 2021. In addition, 97 units are expected to break ground in late spring on CRHC’s Michigan Square redevelopment in Victoria, and 75 units on M’akola Housing’s Charters development in Sooke. The Capital Region Housing Corporation has scheduled development planning that will continue on its 158 unit Caledonia development in Victoria.

  • The Panorama Recreation Centre energy recovery project is approved and requires a minimum of $700,000 of grant funding to proceed. Staff are pursuing all grant funding options available and are targeting a 2021 start with anticipated completion in 2022. Once completed, Panorama is projected to see an 80% (351 tonne) reduction in total GHG emissions produced.
  • Integrated Water Services continues emergency replacement of the Sooke Lake Reservoir intake screens, which was partially completed in 2020. The travelling screen in the intake tower screens out organic and inorganic particles larger than the 0.5 millimeter (mm) openings in the mesh screen. The screen is intended to provide an operational benefit by reducing particle sedimentation in the transmission and distribution systems.
  • Dependent on a successful grant application, upgrades will begin on Regional Water Supply Main No. 4 at a capital cost of $3 million in 2021. This project will upgrade vulnerable sections of the pipe to a resilient system better able to withstand a seismic event. This is part of a partially grant funded project partnered with the Saanich Peninsula Water system.
  • $2 million has been allocated for the Hartland North Site Buffer Acquisition project. This will allow for decommissioning and deconstruction of the old Maxim Cogen Unit ahead of the new renewable natural gas plant construction.
  • $4.3 million will go towards aggregate production and rock extraction at Hartland Landfill for processing rock into material for on-site use as daily cover and building access roads.
  • Construction continues on Phase 3 of the E&N Rail Trail with a capital cost of $3.4 million in 2021. This section of trail will fill a gap between the railway crossing on Atkins Avenue and Savory School in Langford, creating a continuous 13 km trail between Jacklin Road in Langford and Esquimalt Road in Victoria. Completion of this section is expected in Spring 2021. The CRD is working with the City of Victoria on planning and design for Phase 4, the section of trail that will link Esquimalt Road and the Johnson Street Bridge. Construction is currently planned to begin in 2021.
  • As identified in the Gulf Islands Regional Trails Plan, the first regional trail segment to be developed in the Gulf Islands is Phase 1 of the Mayne Island Regional Trail at a capital cost of $1.2 million in 2021. This 2.3 km bike and pedestrian trail will be developed between Village Bay and Miners Bay village. The CRD’s Engineering Services and Regional Parks divisions will oversee the development of the trail. Construction is anticipated to start in 2021 and be completed in 2023.
  • The development of an in-lake remediation plan is underway to address internal sources of nutrients in Elk/Beaver Lake, subject to receiving at least 50% capital grant funds for the project. This includes the installation of oxygenation systems in Elk/Beaver Lake to improve water quality at a capital cost of $1.4 million and ongoing operational costs of $100,000 -$150,000 annually. Staff continue to pursue external funding and partnership opportunities to support this proposed work.
  • For 2021, the CRHD major capital projects contribution is $28 million, minor capital projects is $3.75 million, and equipment is $2.95 million for a total of $34.7 million.

Through Board direction, the Electoral Area Committee reviews and recommends all electoral area-only service budgets, including the review of Local Service Commission budgets. This process includes a significant amount of work undertaken by many commissioners who volunteer their services in the Southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island and Juan de Fuca electoral areas.

The provisional Financial Plans are subject to change prior to final budget review and approval by the Board in March 2021. Complete the online feedback form by January 31 to share your feedback with the Board as part of the process at


Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, 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



For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492