EDITORIAL: Regional growth is all of our business

Participation of West Shore municipalities in economic development plan a good sign

West Shore municipalities have an opportunity to be part of something that could provide a great return on investment.

The fledgling South Island Economic Development Association – the awkward name is just a placeholder – will soon assume the responsibility of going to bat for the Capital Region, collectively, and begin working to both attract new business, create jobs and strengthen those businesses already in place.

Three of the five West Shore municipalities have voted at council meetings to help fund the new organization, with Langford the first to jump on board. In doing so these councils have put stock in the idea that a regional body can, through its actions, make a difference to the economic health of all parts of the region.

We like the fact that Langford, Colwood, View Royal and possibly Highlands looked at the big picture and realized that what is good for the region can be good for its municipalities.

Contrary to what some West Shore politicians may have initially believed, the Capital Regional District had nothing to do with the creation of this new agency. Had that been the case, it would naturally raise the eyebrows of those area politicians who see the CRD as an unwieldy bureaucracy.

No, it has its origins in the business community, having been spearheaded by the people at the Greater Victoria Development Agency, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, of which the Westshore Chamber is a member.

The key measuring stick for the new group’s work will be to see Greater Victoria reverse its downward trend to the bottom of the list in terms of GDP growth among Canada’s metropolitan areas. Going from fourth in the country to 27th has clearly scared many of the movers and shakers in the region, enough to prompt new action to be taken.

No longer can we rely on tourism, or the fact Greater Victoria is a great place to live to attract new business or grow existing ones. We need to look closely at what we can do better; what our real strengths and weaknesses are. This regional committee has already assembled an all-star team of experts and community builders to find some concrete answers to those questions.

We aren’t surprised that Metchosin has opted not to contribute to this new regional agency, having prized its rural status and arguably created an exclusionary environment over the years. While it may not see value in being a part of this project, we can guarantee it, too, will benefit from the agency’s successes.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria residents among the most credit-worthy Canadians

Yet debt levels continue to rise as Canadians owe $178 for every $100 earned

Thursday sees mix of sun and cloud, high of 22 C

Plus a look ahead at your weekend forecast

BC business offers ‘clean start’ for people with employment barriers

CleanStart BC is looks to expand its Victoria staff

New roadside testing device can’t identify drug impairment says Vancouver lawyer

Lawyer says similar devices vulnerable to court challenge, testing for drugs different to alcohol

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read