The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a vision for the future of the capital region, guiding decisions on regional issues such as transportation, population growth and settlement patterns. The RGS promotes the long term livability of the region with policy intended to enhance social, economic and environmental performance. The current RGS was adopted in 2018.

British Columbia’s Local Government Act (LGA) section 452 sets out requirements for RGS monitoring and reporting. The CRD developed its RGS indicators to support consistent annual reporting and meet the legislative requirements.

The CRD RGS Indicators Report consists of 20 indicators for RGS monitoring. Each indicator includes a description of what is being measured, why it is important and a discussion of trends. Over time, the indicators will help identify progress being made toward RGS implementation or alert the region to a need for change if progress is not being seen.

The RGS and Local Governments

Local governments and the CRD developed the RGS in partnership. All affected local governments must accept the RGS before the CRD Board can adopt it as a bylaw. Within two years of becoming a bylaw, each municipality must submit a Regional Context Statement to the CRD Board describing how their Official Community Plan aligns with the Strategy. The CRD Board is reviewing Regional Context Statements as they are received from each municipality in relation to the 2018 RGS.

In the case of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, all official community plans must be consistent with the Strategy.

The RGS applies to the following local governments:

Central Saanich | Colwood | Esquimalt | Highlands | Langford | Metchosin | North Saanich | Oak Bay | Saanich | Sidney | Sooke | Victoria | View Royal | Juan de Fuca Electoral Area

Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, though part of the CRD, are excluded from the bylaw as they are part of the Islands Trust land management area.

Regional Growth Strategy Amendment

Population/employment/dwelling unit projections

On June 12, 2019 the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board initiated an amendment to the 2018 RGS to update population, dwelling unit and employment projections. The projections were prepared by BC Statistics based on 2016 census information which became available in early 2019. Updated projections were summarized in a report presented to the Board.

Amending the RGS to incorporate updated population projections delivers on a commitment made during a non-binding dispute resolution process conducted in late 2017 prior to RGS adoption in March 2018. The proposed amendment would replace Table 1 on page 7 of the Regional Growth Strategy with information shown in sub-regional population projections. A draft amendment has been prepared based on public and municipal feedback and presented to the board.

On March 11, 2020 the CRD Board gave first and second reading to the RGS amending bylaw that will update the projections. The Board can adopt the bylaw once all municipalities accept the amendment. The formal referral for municipal acceptance will be underway until the middle of May, 2020. A final draft will be presented to the Board for consideration after municipal acceptance. Amending the RGS requires unanimous agreement of all thirteen municipalities covered by the RGS.