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Transportation top of mind for Greater Victoria at UBCM conference

Members of the Capital Regional District met with many cabinet ministers at this year’s municipalities conference.

Members of the Capital Regional District took a number of meetings with Provincial ministers’ this week during the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

They had a wide array of items on their agenda that included transportation, emergency management, climate action, and ways to reduce conflicts between wildlife and humans in agriculture areas on Southern Vancouver Island.

“I thank the provincial ministers for their time and the Board looks forward to working with the new government on our shared priorities,” said CRD Board Chair Barbara Desjardins in a statement highlighting their discussions.

A top priority for the region has been addressing the daily traffic congestion for those commuting between the western communities and downtown Victoria. The Province is currently building a major interchange to alleviate one stoplight intersection at McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road on Highway 1, but the CRD is also asking to be part of any conversation towards rail or commuter use for the E&N corridor.

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They would also like a bigger role in decision-making for other transportation infrastructure within the region, in addition to seeking long-term, stable funding increases to transit services, and money to begin a passenger-only ferry service between Salt Spring Island, Pender Island and the Town of Sidney.

While continued support towards emergency management initiatives and more action taken towards climate change remain in focus, the ability to impose new bylaws surrounding the disposal of solid waste and recyclables, as well as more infrastructure for charging and refuelling zero emission vehicles is gaining more attention.

The 2017 UBCM wraps up later today.