Capital Regional District headquarters entrance on Fisgard Street in Victoria. (Don Descoteau/Black Press Media)

Capital Regional District headquarters entrance on Fisgard Street in Victoria. (Don Descoteau/Black Press Media)

CRD opening doors for more First Nations input on Greater Victoria decisions

Board targets 2021 to have representation from local nations on various CRD committees

Work on giving the nine local First Nations in Greater Victoria more input into Capital Regional District governance activities has been ongoing since 2015.

The CRD board, sitting as committee of the whole on Oct. 28, took further steps along that road, giving preliminary approval to a new bylaw that opens the door to representation on standing, select and advisory committees from each of the nine area nations. Provincial law currently prohibits participation on the CRD board by First Nations without a modern treaty in place.

The board had previously unanimously voted to make further First Nations input into CRD decision-making one of its strategic priorities for this term, 2019-22.

“This is very important to me personally, as I believe our country needs to reconcile, heal and move forward in a respectful and thoughtful way being inclusive of First Nations perspectives, territories, and expectations,” said CRD board chair Colin Plant after the meeting.

RELATED STORY: CRD wants closer relations with First Nations

Based on research into which committees’ work might affect or potentially be of interest to First Nations, staff chose the CRD’s First Nations relations; governance and finance; environmental services; solid waste advisory; planning, transportation and protective services and regional parks committees for inclusion as of January 2021.

Directors also approved the next step, to connect with elected officials from each nation to see if this list is complete in their view or if a broader area of input would be desirable.

“But I suspect with the additional consultation we may not hit January as a start date,” said Plant. “We will go out with an open mind and engage in authentic consultation.”

Plant is “optimistic” the CRD is on the right path to greater First Nations participation. “And to show the importance of this work, I intend to participate in these discussions with First Nations leadership to seek input on the bylaw and ask how they envision participation at the committee level,” he said.

While some directors voiced procedural and even logistical concerns, given COVID-19 safety regulations, of having up to nine extra members on the chosen committees, CRD board vice-chair Denise Blackwell said later in an interview, “everybody around the table believes it’s important and that we get off on the right foot.”

“It’s something that we want to do in this era of truth and reconciliation. It’s important for us to reach out and see what they want to do,” she added.

CRD First Nations Relations staff have connected with seven of the nine nations and heard interest from some chiefs. “If they don’t get traction from a couple of the bands, it’s probably not going to make or break (moving forward),” Blackwell added.

Asked whether CRD directors would be encouraged to reach out directly to First Nations leaders in their own communities to talk about the opportunity for inclusion, Plant said every local government official should desire to develop a relationship “based on mutual respect and opportunity.”


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional DistrictCRDFirst Nations

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

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read