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.

 

Just Posted

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

LETTERS: It’s time to stop looking for excuses

Re: Proposed fishing restrictions will be devastating: officials I understand how those… Continue reading

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

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

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

Most Read