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

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read