Optimism and resolutions for the West Shore

The new year is here and it is full of promise for the West Shore

The new year is here and it is full of promise for the West Shore. Our vibrant diversified community has so much going for it we should be both thankful and hopeful.

In a world where the European economy and a very slow U.S. recession recovery is worrying to all, Langford, thanks to its strong leadership and for being business friendly, reports a remarkable 3.1 per cent unemployment rate and it’s likely our other local municipalities are similar.

The new small business jobs that the Premier’s jobs plan wants to promote are already happening in the West Shore and we are working with Jobs Minister Pat Bell to find ways to leverage this remarkable success. Stay tuned on that front.

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual Christmas mixer at Hatley Castle in Royal Roads University with more than 200 in attendance. The mood from our many small business owners was positive, even ebullient.

While it’s true that our restaurants and bars have suffered the impacts of HST and drinking laws, and our builders and developers are slowed awaiting HST changes, overall the economy on the West Shore seems stronger than ever.

Sitting here in my office I can see three new restaurants about to open in the next few weeks, making their own significant investments of time and money.

The chamber in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Organization, is launching a catalyst program on the West Shore to assist small businesses to grow and strengthen. Response to this mentoring opportunity has already been strong.

In other words, this is a hopeful and positive community that is learning to build on its strengths and together overcome its challenges: the recent $100 million provincial funding for our urgently needed new high schools being a terrific case in point.

Our focus points for 2012 might include the following New Year’s resolutions:

• That the West Shore mayors continue to collaborate and show more and more solidarity than ever before on common and Capital Regional District issues, such as transportation and rail.

• That the Federal government finally decides to fund the $7.5 million required upgrading the E&N rail line by matching the already committed provincial funds.

• That the new high schools and associated neighborhood learning centres can be well but quickly planned and implemented.

• That the YMCA advances its plans to open new day care facilities and a pool on the West Shore.

• That the remarkable success of the Langford Lanes bowling centre and new ice rink at City Centre Park continues (and please, stop calling me to try to get in!).

• That saner heads prevail on the imposition of sewage and light rapid transit mega-works costs on our local taxpayers — perhaps the day of the infrastructure grand project is over.

• That the new small business jobs growth in the West Shore continues at its rapid pace despite European meltdowns and sluggish U.S. growth.

• That several new projects now underway to protect agricultural land use in our rural communities prevail and make a significant difference (more on this in an upcoming column).

• That the West Shore continues to be the real economic growth engine of Greater Victoria and finally gets recognized as such.

To all our friends and colleagues on the West Shore — have a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous new year!

dspinner@westshore.bc.ca

—Dan Spinner is the CEO for the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

Langford barber shop donates cuts for veterans’ cause

Hair cuts raise funds for Wounded Warrior Run, which travels from Port Hardy to Victoria

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

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

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read