Sidney Mayor Steve Price recently made his inaugural speech as the new chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board and outlined some of the plans for the board in 2018.
“Our region continues to be an exceptional place to live, work and visit,” said Price in his comments. “The CRD has made excellent progress throughout 2017, and the year ahead will provide many opportunities to create meaningful change in support of a vibrant, sustainable and livable region.”
In recognizing that the CRD operates on the traditional terrtory of various local First Nations, Price spoke of the ongoing relationships being built between the regional government and First Nations — most notably a special task force. This, he said, will explore insights into various governance approaches and modes for co-operatively managed park land. Price noted the CRD hold quarterly meetings with local First Nations leaders.
Price mentioned the contentious CRD Regional Growth Strategy — a document not every member of the CRD bought into at its early stages.
“When the process is complete, we need to come back to this table as friends and neighbours,” he said, in a nod to those divisions.
Price added that as part of the CRD’s protective services role, it is continuing to build the South Island Communications Centre through 2018. That facility will house a “unified 911 call answer and police disptach centre that meets post-disaster standards.”
Price’s own community recently extended their fire dispatch service with the district of Saanich for three months, in order to find other dispatch services that would save the Town of Sidney money.
In his speech, Price also touched on a variety of CRD activities and strategies, from climate change mitigation, solid waste management and regional parks, to an updated regional housing affordablity strategy next year and regional trail plans for the Southern Gulf Islands.
“For 2018, I pledge to lead our work with senior levels of government and encourage partnerships that work for our residents wherever we can.”