COLWOOD IN 2018 FACES MANY TOUGH ISSUES. BUT WHAT ISSUES ARE MORE PRESSING?
Download my 2018 Election Brochure – Elect Scott MCDONALD
Before I give you my ideas about what are the most important issues facing Colwood residents, I would like to invite you to tell me what your biggest concerns are — Email me, or message me on Facebook Messenger or fill out a form on the Contact Page. I look forward to hearing YOUR views.
Colwood Council approved Bylaw No. 1700 at their regular meeting on August 27, 2018. Without that approval and the tremendous work by city staff and years of process, planning, and huge community participation, resulting in our new Official Community Plan or OCP, my list below would have been much different. Well done Mayor Hamilton and Council, Colwood City Staff, and the thousands of residents who participated in the almost 3 year process!
Below is a list of issues facing the City of Colwood and residents, and my opinions on them.
Building more roads, increasing the number of vehicles in traffic is not the answer to the Colwood crawl or regional transportation issues. Neither is the wanton removal of parking spaces or haphazard installation of paths, trails, or bike lanes. Studies show that up to 80% of city’s traversable surface areas are devoted to vehicular infrastructure. Better, smarter, technology driven way-finding solutions, offering an educated public a variety of options to get from point A to B, while reducing their overall environmental footprint is what I support. LRT (light rapid transit) rail or bus needs to be studied. A passenger rapid ferry service should receive a feasibility study.
Like most people, I try to volunteer as much as possible in the greater community effort to end homelessness. As such, I believe in the Housing First approach to solving homelessness, developed into workable reality by the street-to-homes community organizations in Victoria, such as: The Coalition, Our Place Society, Pacifica Housing, Salvation Army, Victoria Cool Aid, and many more. Once housed, attention and dollars can be directed to improving the health, skill sets, and quality of life of the hard to home. It is good so see these organizations in our community. I support their further involvement in our community.
I took the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA)’s Make Housing Central Pledge
People need to be able to live in the communities in which they work and play. If residents of Colwood can’t afford to live in Colwood in 5, 10 or 20 years, then we will have failed them. I am in favour of using every means in the municipal tool box, in concert with other levels of government to keep housing and living affordability as high as possible. The BC government’s 30 point plan for housing affordability in BC is not the solution to British Columbia’s housing affordability crisis. It is going to take this, a lot of out of the box thinking and cooperation of all levels of government in my opinion.
Resource: Affordable BC’s idea
I’m generally in favour of amalgamation where costs are reduced, resources allocated more efficiently, and residents are well represented. 75% of CRD residents who got a chance to vote on further study in 2014 said YES. Still nothing has been done. Where benefit clearly accrues to Colwood residents, long term, I would be in favour of amalgamating with say, View Royal and Esquimalt. I have lived in some remarkably large cities, such as Tokyo, where demonstrably, amalgamation has worked well.
Resource: Amalgamation Research and Studies
Planting a seed — an audacious idea for Colwood?
Tourism GDP was $41.2 billion in Canada in 2017, up 6% over 2016*. In B.C., tourism contributes $7.9 billion to provincial GDP.** Colwood can dig further into that pie sustainably, if we catalogue, enhance, preserve, and promote Colwood’s natural beauty, gardens, and wild within into one of the world’s premier garden and lifestyle-tourism destinations. With partners such as local First Nations, Royal Roads University, Parks Canada, Destination Greater Victoria, and others, this is achievable, over many years, as a long term sustainable goal.
* Source: TIAC – Tourism Industry Association of Canada
** Source: Destination British Columbia