Editorial: Economy doesn’t have borders

Regional economic development model a long time coming

Numerous residents in the Capital Regional District don’t work or go to school in the municipality in which they currently live.

You’ll often hear of residents who for example, live in Oak Bay, but own a business in Saanich and their kids go to school in Victoria. It’s not an uncommon situation for many families to constantly be shifting between one of 13 municipalities in the region.

Likewise, residents don’t only shop in the municipality where they live.

Economy doesn’t have borders and neither should the region’s organizations responsible for economic development in the south Island.

That is the reason mayors have come together four times to discuss the possibility of dissolving the Greater Victoria Development Agency and creating a new regional organization.

The yet-to-be-named organization would include several levels of governance, including the funding partners council made up of mayors and members of the private and post-secondary sectors, and local First Nations.

The organization would be responsible for promoting economic development for all businesses south of the Malahat on the Island.

Oak Bay council voted Monday night to support the new organization, alongside View Royal, Langford and Victoria (so far).

This new strategy will ensure that all businesses will benefit in the region and secure more federal and provincial funding which is currently being obtained by the agency.

It’s been a long time coming for a regional model that could ensure the businesses we purchase our goods from and the communities in which we live all prosper alongside one another.

If adopted, this could be a game-changer in economic development in the CRD.