The West Shore Parks and Recreation Society says it will be facing funding shortfalls of roughly $75,000. That number could be significantly more in 2018. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Bring a proposal to the West Shore Recreation table, Langford

View Royal Mayor David Screech expands on West Shore Parks and Recreation’s operations

For 16 years, West Shore Parks and Recreation Society (WSPRS) has been an example of how a strong partnership can work; five municipalities – View Royal, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, and Highlands – with a shared interest in providing recreation facilities and infrastructure to meet the needs of their residents. Demographics dictate that those needs clearly differ. Langford, for example, has more than 10 times the population of Highlands, but still, it’s a model of co-operation that works.

Over the past decade or more, Langford has progressively built facilities that have put it on the world stage. Canada’s women rugby stars train in Langford – a pride shared by the whole region. And the city is on its way to becoming the nation’s rugby hub.

With its own projects booming, in 2014 Langford expressed interest in changing the funding formula of the WSPRS’ partnership. It was invited to submit a proposal to the owner’s group, but has yet to do so. Instead, it has exercised its veto as a partner and has refused to approve the WSPRS’ budget.

Without budget approval, West Shore Parks and Recreation has a shortfall and is forced to operate with the last budget approved. When the cost of inflation cannot be accommodated in a budget, future programs, services and equipment upgrades are at risk. It’s worth noting that Langford residents account for about half the people enjoying WSPRS’ facilities and the portion Langford pays is also roughly half.

Meanwhile, Independent of the WSPRS partnership, Langford has invested in building modern and impressive facilities for its residents. Those investments were entirely of Langford’s volition and do not negate the city’s role and responsibility in the WSPRS partnership.

In speaking with the Gazette (West Shore Parks and Recreation braces for revenue shortfalls, Sept. 28), Mayor Stew Young said Langford has been calling on the WSPR society to implement a new governance model that doesn’t increase Langford’s share each year.

Let’s be clear. The society board, made up of 15 representatives of the five owner municipalities, has no such authority. Changing the funding formula would fall to the group of owners. Perhaps that’s yet another proposal that Langford could put forward.

Without question, Langford – by its choosing – is investing more per capita than the other municipal partners. Mayor Young suggests all West Shore residents have access to Langford’s new facilities such as the new YMCA. If Langford had intended the member municipalities to aid in the cost of the new facilities, those discussions should have been held before the facilities were built, not after.

Clarity would be helpful for all residents of the West Shore. View Royal is prepared to look at any reasonable proposal and I would ask Langford to provide the data that shows conclusively which facilities our residents are using.

Simply refusing to approve the society’s budget is not in the best interests of anyone, least of all the many users of the WSPRS’ facilities.

I hope Langford will bring a proposal to the table for the consideration of all.

View Royal Mayor

David Screech

Just Posted

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

VIDEO: Hundreds gather at Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park for Remembrance Day

More than 65 wreaths laid, including homemade wreath from Afghan veteran

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

Thousands line the streets around the Legislature for Remembrance Day ceremony in Victoria

Over 70 wreaths placed around Cenotaph, honouring those who lost their lives, currently fighting

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Most Read