Sooke council backs new economic development agency

Sooke became the seventh municipality to hop onboard the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Agency

Sooke became the seventh municipality to hop onboard a new regional economic agency on Monday, potentially opening some big doors for the district region-wide.

The newly formed South Vancouver Island Economic Development Agency is expected to receive funding from all 13 Greater Victoria municipalities.

The idea met with warm support from majority of council, including Mayor Maja Tait, who pointed out the sole importance of keeping Sooke’s residents employed, as more than 60 percent of Sooke’s workforce commute to other parts of the region anyway.

Despite a successful vote, there was still some initial reticence from council, mostly due to concerns of simply “selling the region” and Sooke’s interests becoming lost in the masses.

Dan Dagg, SVIEDA’s acting chair, responded to council by saying the idea here is to collaborate as a region, not assimilate and consume individual regions.

“We have no intention to replace the [Sooke Region] Chamber of Commerce. We’re going to help it achieve its potential,” Dagg said. “What you want to think about is leveraging dollars, and what you would be able to do with dollars you have now versus what we can do as a larger community.”

As such, SVIEDA will take the money and lever it into $9 million worth of economic development activity over a five year period, doing it municipality by municipality.

The existing Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency is associated with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and receives funding from Victoria, Saanich and other groups.

Coun. Rick Kasper, who supported the idea from the beginning, hopes the new economic plan can bring into perspective what this region offers beyond its own borders, housing in particular.

“I want to make sure our community gets sold as a package with things that we want to be selling,” Kasper said.

The economic model is based on one vote per municipality, so even though Sooke is smaller than Victoria, it will still get one vote just like everybody else to drive the strategic direction of the organization.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Country Market returns for 25th year

In person market to only feature farmers, opens June 6

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Sooke to allow restaurant patios on streets and in parking lots

The virus has had major impact on local businesses, says Sooke mayor

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read