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Unify for Responsible Planning

Our region of 383,000 residents elects 13 mayors and an army of councilors, overseeing 13 planning depts.

This seems to defy logic if our goal is good planning, consistent regulations, and attracting govt funding for infrastructure.

Good regional planning identifies areas suitable for high density housing as well as protecting environmentally sensitive areas.

A strong regional model also encourages more consistent building code interpretations and development processes.

All of this requires investment in transportation, water and sewage systems.

Municipalities must have sufficient populations to attract the necessary federal and provincial funding.

For example, Calgary started Light Rail Transit in 1980 with a population similar to ours today. Calgary now has a population of one million, and the LRT has been an essential part of planning.

The LRT was possible because Calgary has a ward system – a form of amalgamation, which helped secure funding.

Small communities still exist, but as part of a single municipal council, where councilors work together on issues impacting the region.

Locally, Greater Victoria is attracting Canada’s retiring baby boomers representing one third of the nation’s population. Transportation and housing will be significant issues.

Now is the time to discuss responsible regional planning and investment starting with unifying 13 municipalities.

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This column is available weekly in Wednesday’s Times Colonist. 

One response to "Unify for Responsible Planning"

  1. Jean Newton Aug 09, 2018 at 19:32

    I agree. You need a strong campaign to convince those who are attached to their “own” municipality, but it only makes sense to have amalgamation.

    Reply

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