CRD service review being explored by Colwood council

Council raises questions over funds for non-existing services

A presentation on a proposed transportation service has sparked Colwood council to ask for a closer look at Capital Regional District services on a whole.

Susan Brice, chair of the CRD’s transportation committee, and CRD chief administrative officer Robert Lapham spoke to council on the proposal on Nov. 28. While council declined to support the plan, the presentation shone a light on one curious aspect of the CRD.

Brice and Lapham noted the service would be supported using existing funding slated for other CRD functions no longer operating.

“It is very concerning to think that taxpayers in our region are being billed for services that are not being provided,” said Mayor Carol Hamilton. “Or that funds provided for specific programs are being arbitrarily directed to an unrelated service.”

Council has directed City staff to investigate the feasibility of a CRD service review, and staff will initiate discussion with CAOs from municipalities around the region, as well as Lapham.

“We expect there will be agreement that many CRD services are functioning well,” said Hamilton. “But municipalities may also determine there are select programs that require a closer look. What services are being provided for our dollars, and are they the services taxpayers want?”

A follow up report is expected to come before Colwood council this month.

Transportation service on hold

Meanwhile, the CRD transportation service proposal in question has been halted while awaiting a report on the integration of municipal services in the region by provincial consultant Circle Square Solutions.

Colwood Coun. Gordie Logan believes the CRD may have gotten ahead of themselves with the service, as it remains uncertain what kind of control the CRD could have over transportation infrastructure within each individual municipality.

“I appreciate their desire to have a co-ordinated voice. What I don’t think they appreciated was the need to look at some of the other systemic issues, like governance and the amount of control that the CRD actually has or doesn’t have over various bodies like transit and local roads,” he said.

Logan remains concerned that some of the region’s smaller municipalities, Colwood included, wouldn’t have a strong voice in any CRD service.

“It’s not that we don’t support such a service but I’m not sure that the current structure would net the results that we’re hoping for.”

Langford and Sooke also declined to offer support for the service.

While Logan recognizes that Saanich and Victoria together make up more than half of the CRD’s population, he doesn’t believe that properly reflects where the transportation needs lie within the region. He would like to see the structure of any transportation service give the West Shore a stronger voice.

“I would say that since the transportation challenges occur mostly on the West Shore, that the West Shore municipalities should, in fact, have a greater say because we are impacted the most.”

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Two Victoria storytellers win $50k to create documentaries

Telus Storyhive grants awarded to 30 filmmakers across B.C. and Alberta

Truck purchase prompts staffing plea from Esquimalt Firefighters Association

Union president says staffing should come before new equipment

New construction, housing prices down British Columbia

New housing prices dropped 0.4 per cent in Victoria in June 2019

Man who killed Langford teen attended her memorial service, demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents reveal factors in parole decision

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

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

BREAKING: Province approves Surrey police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights city’s municipal police force

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Most Read