Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardin

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardin

COLUMN: Doctors, dog parks and more highlight 2019 in Esquimalt

Mayor Barb Desjardin talks successes for the Township this year

This has been an incredible year for the Township of Esquimalt. Council established our strategic plan and priorities in early 2019 and have been working hard on delivering on these goals.

The $17 million McLoughlin Amenity Fund process is moving forward. Public input informed a council decision to provide a multipurpose building and fenced-in dog park at Gorge Park, and — funding allowing — a boardwalk along the seafront of Saxe Point Park for a total of $7 million. I envision the building including art and storytelling works that will honour the First Nation and also the Japanese cultures to whom this land is significant. The Public Safety Building is in progress as well, with request for proposals currently open.

Following the closure of a medical facility in Esquimalt in 2018, council began the important work of facilitating new health facilities in Esquimalt. We welcomed input from the public and local experts, specifically Dr. Eileen Peppler’s report and the ensuing community conversations at a town hall this past spring.

We have been working with the development community to consider the inclusion of space and options for amenities to entice family physicians to our community. I’m pleased to say that we already have one development offer a space and reduced lease costs. We will be working with Island Health and South Island Association of Family Physicians to determine next steps.

Esquimalt council has 1,400 units of new housing on the books, either in process or approved. In fact, more than 400 units are currently under construction. This growth gives Esquimalt significant opportunity for increased tax revenue and for new businesses and services to be provided locally, bolstering our community vision: “The Township of Esquimalt is a vibrant, distinct and diverse community for people to discover and belong.”

READ ALSO: Colwood, Esquimalt mayors support potential passenger commuter ferry

This was a banner year for events in Esquimalt with favourites like Buccaneer Days, Ribfest, Music in the Park, Esquimalt Art Festival, the expansion of the award-winning Farmers Market, Celebration of Lights and many more events drawing people from Esquimalt together as well as bringing people from outside our borders to enjoy our community. We welcomed Petapalooza and Indigefest in 2019 and look forward to these events and more happening again in 2020.

Council has also set new initiatives in motion for the next few years through working with SIPP (South Island Prosperity Project) to create an economic development assessment and business investment roadmap for Esquimalt. We also endorsed a Terms of Reference for the Climate Action Planning Project after earlier this year declaring a climate emergency. The plan includes a goal for Esquimalt to become a 100 per cent renewable community by 2050. A climate emergency report will be delivered early in the new year and will recommend immediate steps for the municipality to cut GHG emissions

Esquimalt is a community with passion and people who care for each other. I know 2020 will continue to give polish to what was referred to in the past as a diamond in the rough.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Barb Desjardin is Mayor of Esquimalt.

Esquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform, letstalksooke.ca, where residents can share feedback and stay up to date on projects and initiatives that are happening in their community. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke launches online engagement portal

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read