Saanich Coun. Colin Plant is making a bid to chair the board of the Capital Regional District. (Screenshot/ Capital Regional District)

Saanich councillor one of four candidates for CRD chair

Coun. Colin Plant is running for board chair after four years on the regional board

A Saanich councillor running for chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) said his priorities would include, among others, housing, transportation, regional sewage and parks, if elected.

Coun. Colin Plant is one of four individuals, who have publicly declared their candidacy for the position. View Royal Mayor David Screech, Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor, and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins have also declared their intentions, according to published accounts.

RELATED: Mayor trashes CRD decision on waste management

The chair guides the monthly board meetings, appoints committee chairs, and represents the CRD to the public, media and other bodies as leader and spokesperson. “But this role is far different of that of the mayor because [chairs] were not elected to lead the CRD,” said Plant.

“That being said, I think the chair has the ability to help influence the direction of the CRD and can speak with authority on CRD matters,” he added.

If elected, Plant plans to draw on his professional experience as high school theatre teacher and director.

“It may sound a little peculiar, but I see the role of the [board chair] as being not dissimilar [to that job],” he said. “A lot of the skills and attributes transfer well,” he said.

Perhaps key to Plant’s agenda, if elected, would be housing after the CRD has secured $90 million in funding for housing, with $30 million each coming from the CRD, the provincial and federal governments.

“We need to see these funds put to good use and see projects get approved and built during this term to ease homelessness and affordability in our region,” he said.

Plant would also like to improve regional transportation. “I believe transportation planning in our region needs greater co-ordination but this requires having consensus amongst the local governments,” he said. “During the last term the CRD attempted to create a transportation service but some jurisdictions (mainly the West Shore) were reluctant to support it. I believe we must find consensus to move forward on this important issue.”

Among other transportation files, Plant would like to see the CRD lobby the province for a new Malahat route, as well as to take over the former E&N Railway corridor and consider turning it into a dedicated busway.

“This will be complicated as we need to work with First Nations [and] the Island Corridor Foundation,” Plant noted.

Plant would also like to see the CRD develop a new role for its parks acquisition fund to help leverage purchases in urban areas as well as continue to expand the regional parks inventory.

The sewage project also requires attention, he said.

“I believe we need to ensure the sewage project comes to a successful conclusion, on time [and] on budget,” he said. “But that we still have some work to do regarding what we are going to do with the final residual solids that will come out of this process. Somewhat connected is the idea that we need to begin planning for the future of the Hartland Landfill.”

Plants enters the race after Saanich voters had chosen him as one of four CRD directors, along with councillors Susan Brice, Rebecca Mersereau, and Ned Taylor. Mayor Fred Haynes rounds out Saanich’s quintet of directors, the most of any of the 13 communities and three electoral areas represented on the board.

Its 24 members elect a chair and a vice-chair at the board’s inaugural meeting, with candidates having four minutes each to make their pitch in securing the necessary majority of 13 votes. If more than two candidates run and if any candidate fails to get 13 votes during the first round, the lowest candidate drops off.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Evicted UVic student questions Saanich’s housing bylaw

Emma Edmonds had been living with six roommates, while the bylaw states you cannot exceed four

Skygazers spot mysterious flaming object during Sunday’s lunar eclipse

University of Victoria astronomer explains the “glowing object”

Saanich axes proposal to spare Garry oaks

Staff are currently developing a comprehensive bio-diversity strategy

Ousted legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

Plecas report: Thousands spent on trips, booze, magazines and a wood splitter

Two suspended B.C. legislature officers have been accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Vancouver Island pot giant Tilray buying Ontario cannabis company for $70 million

Nanaimo cannabis company to acquire Natura Naturals and Ontario greenhouse facility

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Most Read