Funding crux of school transit concerns

Oak Bay council narrowly approves letter endorsing controversial pilot co-ordinator position

Coun. Michelle Kirby is bound and determined to change the travel patterns of students in Oak Bay.

More questions than answers left her fellow council members unsure and narrowly supporting her motion to write a letter to the Capital Regional District endorsing a school travel planning co-ordinator position. It was a direct response to a query from Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin whose council did pen an endorsement of the project to the CRD.

“This is putting your energy and support behind kids and their well being,” said Kirby. “We really have to be assertive.”

That letter of support came after Kirby spearheaded a meeting at Oak Bay municipal hall inviting approximately 40 potential partners.

Child health and wellness, as well as neighbourhood complaints about traffic and congestion around schools are primary reasons to create such a position, as “kids are more and more travelling by car,” Kirby said.

“You can’t do this without some co-ordinated effort,” she added. “I’d really like to have my own council’s support for this initiative.”

Coun. Pam Copley agreed there’s a need, referring back to the successful use in other Island communities. In the Comox Valley three communities shared the cost of a pilot position that they maintained after the trial period.

Maybe funding isn’t the place to start, Copely said, noting more concerning is not having school board support.

“This could be a worthwhile endeavour to work toward,” she said.

Coun. Kevin Murdoch, quick to point out he rides with his kids to school, appreciates the effort but is concerned about a lack of funding attached to the concept plan.

Kirby emphasized that at this point she only wants council to voice support, and that she’s hopeful grants could fund the project.

“We’re not there yet. I want to see us advocate to the CRD,” Kirby said.

Coun. Cairine Green admitted she’s not opposed to the idea, but concerned about committing to the CRD without a funding plan.

“I don’t know how it would directly benefit Oak Bay,” she added, noting some concerns may fall under police issues or parent advisory councils. “The issue is the logistics around a position like this.”

Mayor Nils Jensen however, felt that the place to get some of those answers would be the CRD.

“We do not have the capacity to answer (those questions) at our staff level,” he said, also hoping not to “open another can of worms.”

Oak Bay will send a letter of endorsement to the CRD; Murdoch, Green and Herbert opposed.

Herbert was the most vehemently opposed to the idea.

“This is the parents responsibility,” he said, pondering aloud the number of paid staff at the CRD who started as pilot positions. “It’s going to be a pilot, but then it never goes away. … I question the logic of this.”

 

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read