Langford concerned about makeup of economic development group

Support could be pulled if business isn’t favoured

The City of Langford may be walking a fine line in support of a new regional economic strategy and committee for South Vancouver Island.

The City has already approved a motion to support the project in principal, but only if everyone else is in, said Coun. Denise Blackwell. “At this point we’re not going to change that until we see who else is in.”

She voiced some concerns regarding the future economic development committee (EDC) at Monday’s council meeting.

“I’d like to see the make-up of the actual board, because I’m finding down at the regional board there’s all sorts of ideas that aren’t anywhere near what we want, what we set out in our strategic plan,” she said at the meeting.

If the makeup of the board doesn’t favour business, she said, the board won’t be doing work for economic development in the region, they’ll only be doing work for the City of Victoria.

It was a fear echoed by Mayor Stew Young, who drove most of the discussion on the topic.

“You have to be very careful,” he said. “Politicians downtown keep coming up with all of these ways to spend money … It’s not an endless pit of money from residential taxpayers.”

Young added, however, that he supported the idea and has since it was first put forward.

“This is good. A regional EDC makes sense, as long as the business people are heard and politicians actually listen,” he said. “The makeup has to be … business telling the government how to do things better. Governments are the worst offenders of creating bureaucracy and red tape (for business).”

Young noted that it’s important for business people to be in charge of the EDC, so “when governments do something stupid, they actually should be held to task for it, and that’s part of the EDC.”

The financial portion of Langford’s commitment to a regional strategy will be reviewed during 2016 budget deliberations, to be voted on by council before April 15, 2016.

Langford chief administrative officer Jim Bowden said this “will allow us the time to ensure that the proper (board) makeup is in place.”

At their Monday meeting, Highlands council unanimously approved the district’s participation in the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Association. That support also included a financial commitment.

Esquimalt, Central Saanich and Saanich also voted to support the Association at their Monday council meetings, bringing the total number of municipalities supporting the idea, at least in principle, to 10. The others are Colwood, View Royal, Victoria, Oak Bay and Sidney.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

William Head prison offers inmates a second chance at life

Federal prison focuses on successful reintegration into society

Artists hooked on Stinking Fish Fall Show

Myriad of mediums featured this weekend in Metchosin

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sara-Jeanne Hosie adds music to Wintertime in Oak Bay

Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Company C stages Wintertime starting Nov. 29

Victoria hit and run suspect sought after pedestrian struck by truck

VicPD ask for the public’s help with incident at Cook and Yates streets

Saanich among safest communities in Canada

It is the sort of list where you want to finish near… Continue reading

Victoria Grizzlies split a pair with Powell River Kings

Movember Hockey heroes prizes up for grabs

EDITORIAL: West Shore communities need to jump on board with plastic bag ban

Last week, the City of Colwood took the initial steps to do… Continue reading

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

English Inn offers public tours of Esquimalt redevelopment

General manager wants to clear up miscommunications and gather community input

Most Read