Voters in Victoria will soon find out who is on the ballot for the city's Dec. 12 by-election. The candidate nomination period opened yesterday, and closes Nov. 6.
The by-election was rescheduled after its original date in April was cancelled due to the pandemic. Any candidates who were previously nominated will need to go through the process again if they still plan to seek election. Candidate nomination forms are available by calling Victoria City Hall at 250-361-0571 or emailing email@example.com. For more information, visit victoria.ca/election.
As soon as candidates are confirmed, The Chamber will provide our members with opportunities to find out where council hopefuls stand on issues of importance to the business community.
The Chamber strongly supports Greater Victoria mayors who are calling on the new provincial government to do better to improve regional transportation on southern Vancouver Island. Specifically, we have been calling for a regional approach to how transportation is governed. We need to think broadly to address transportation issues and take advantage of opportunities to create 21st century solutions.
The mayors of Saanich, Victoria, Colwood and View Royal were among the group that co-authored a letter to the province.
The Island Corridor Foundation has released a report estimating the economic impact of restoring the Island Rail Corridor to operational condition.
The report says the $304 million project would require $147 million for labour and create thousands of jobs — based on an average annual full-time income of $67,000.
The foundation also recently contracted a survey that determined interest is high in rail service on Vancouver Island.
"The results should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the people of Vancouver Island want to see rail service restored,” foundation CEO Larry Stevenson said in a news release.
Overall, 80% of survey respondents believe that federal and provincial governments should fund a modern and revitalized rail system for Vancouver Island, and 81% of respondents believe rail should receive a subsidy to support ongoing operations.
We are starting to get some perspective on the pandemic and what we've been through and where we're going. However, back in the spring, the world was a much more uncertain place and BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins says he's proud of how his team rose to the challenge.
Collins, who was the guest of The Chamber's Business Restart Series yesterday, says his team at BC Ferries stepped into the unknown in order to meet its mandate and keep alive vital supply chains and transportation services to remote BC communities.
Collins also offered hope to commuters enticed by the idea of a ferry between Colwood and Victoria.
"We really think there's a business case here," Collins says, detailing the cost and timelines that show the service is viable.
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Travellers departing from Victoria International Airport will now have their temperature checked, as Transport Canada regulations take effect today. The rule also affects all passengers arriving in Canada on international flights.
Temperature screenings were initially implemented on July 30 for passengers departing from airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. The program has been extended to 11 other Canadian airports, including Victoria, as of today.
If screening finds anyone with a temperature of 38C or higher, they will not be allowed to proceed unless they have a certificate explaining a valid reason for their elevated temperature. Passengers who are turned back will need to wait two weeks and re-book their trip.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
People travelling aboard BC Ferries can no longer stay in their vehicles if they are on an enclosed deck. The Transport Canada regulation is back in effect today, after having been suspended in March to allow for physical distancing. You can still remain in your vehicle if you are parked on an open deck.
BC Ferries must comply with the federal rule, and has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as physical distancing measures. Face masks are also mandatory on all passenger decks.
Chamber members will have a chance to hear more about this new rule, and other major developments, directly from BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins. Make sure to register for The Chamber's Business Restart Series on Oct. 6. Details below!
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
After experiencing a dramatic drop in passenger arrivals this spring, the Victoria International Airport is starting to see an increase in the number of domestic passengers.
With no international arrivals since April, the total number of passengers going through the Victoria airport in July was still down 79% from 2019. However, the 34,055 domestic arrivals represents an increase from 13,437 in June.
August is expected to exceed 40,000, airport spokesperson Rod Hunchak told the Times Colonist. That would bring the total number of passengers to about 404,000 for 2020 so far. That compares to a 12-month total of 1.9 million in 2019.
A major new development in the City of Colwood will broaden the municipal tax base, create jobs on the West Shore and potentially ease transportation issues in Greater Victoria.
“One of our solutions to (traffic congestion) is that we need to begin to create more jobs here in the West Shore,” Colwood Mayor Rob Martin told the Times Colonist.
The proposed Allandale District — being developed by Omicron Canada with a Vancouver partner — is going through the approval process with Colwood council.
The development would cover 20 acres on four parcels, including a former gravel pit and rock bluffs along Allandale Road and on both sides of Veteran Memorial Parkway.
The plan to redevelop University Heights mall in the District of Saanich is going to public hearing. Saanich council decided to move the project forward, with a few outstanding questions for staff to address.
The proposal by Wesbild will add 598 rental units and 10,096 square metres of commercial space. The plan would revitalize the area and create much needed housing for the region.
The Chamber welcomes news that BC Ferries will receive emergency funding from the provincial and federal governments.
BC Ferries provides an essential link to Greater Victoria and The Chamber supports efforts to ensure the service continues without having to drastically increase fares.
The money will come from the Safe Restart Agreement, announced July 16 as part of a cost sharing plan that will also help transit systems.
"We look forward to working with the Province to learn details of the Safe Restart Agreement," BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins said in a news release.