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Reverse Declining Populations in CRD

The latest population data from BC Stats reveal North Saanich, Sidney, Saanich, and Oak Bay had declining populations from 2011 to 2015. Some municipalities had marginal increases.

Declining populations erode a municipality’s ability to pay for roads, sewers as well as social services.

On the other hand, Langford’s population growth far outpaced other CRD municipalities.

The reason is Langford zones for higher density supported by efficient development processes.

Multi-family and small-lot subdivisions are approved to reduce land costs and increase affordability for young families.

Recent CMHC data reveal there were zero multi-family developments built in the past several years in some of the municipalities with declining populations.

These municipalities must embrace density to revitalize their communities and pay for services.

Similar population declines occurring on the East Coast have been attributed to “resistance to change.”

This reluctance to accept change, higher density and growth is creating economic and demographic decline.

Well-planned density creates growth, affordability, vibrant local businesses, skilled employment, and efficient transportation systems.

We can start to reverse population declines by accepting a regional strategy, rather than implementing more than a dozen separate community plans.

For example, a planning concept called Intelligent Urbanization increases density in regional urban areas to support Light Rail Transit and protect outlying green space.

Is a mandatory regional strategy too ambitious?

A first step might be for city councils to avoid adding processes and costs to appease groups opposing density after OCP approval.

Through responsible planning and density, we can reverse our eroding tax base and pay for services required by our aging population.

Our column in the T-C is available here.

One response to "Reverse Declining Populations in CRD"

  1. G A Hardscratch Apr 12, 2017 at 16:07

    Small houses on wheels would allow equity and the ability to move closer to work without selling your equity. It may Cut family transportation costs as well . Each would pay for fire, police,garbage, sewer, water, school, admin, as do houses fixed to the land. They should vote as well.


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