November 9, 2017

Council Highlights provide a snapshot of the progress made on City programs, initiatives and on Council decision-making. For more information on each initiative, please visit the accompanying link where noted. We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at engage@victoria.ca.

Draft 2018 – 2022 Financial Plan
Council gave first reading to the Draft 2018 – 2022 Financial Plan, which is now ready for community consultation. Staff was directed to report back on a number of initiatives which will be considered by Council in January, in addition to the community’s feedback on the draft plan. For more information, view webcasts of the Special Committee of the Whole meetings that took place October 30, 31 and November 2 and 7, 2017. For more information, visit: victoria.ca/budget.

Provincial Cannabis Consultation 
The City will prepare a written submission to the Provincial government to reflect Council’s direction on policy issues for the proposed provincial cannabis regulations, which is as follows:

Minimum Age
That the City recommend to the Province that the minimum age for possession is consistent with the minimum age for the consumption of alcohol. 

Personal Possession
That Council take no position on personal possession.

Public Consumption
That Council request that the Province establish a licensing scheme to allow for designated consumption lounges with a use model that takes into consideration the health and well-being of all users and employees.

Drug-Impaired Driving
That Council direct staff to include comments supporting strong restrictions on drug-impaired driving, zero tolerance for impairment standards for L and N licence holders,education and awareness campaigns regarding cannabis-impaired driving and supporting expanded roadside testing, suspension, and prohibition programs. And that Council direct staff to write the Provincial and Federal governments to request that cannabis legalization and associated regulation frameworks be constructed in a way that will lower policing and enforcement costs for municipalities.

Personal Cultivation
That Council supports the Bill C-45 provisions for cultivation.

Distribution Model
That Council calls on the Province to introduce a distribution model for medical and non-medical cannabis that maintains opportunities for local enterprise, craft enterprise and small business in the cultivation, distribution and retail sale of medical and non-medical cannabis.

Retail Model
That the City recommend that:

  1. The Province develop a retail regime that makes room for both public and private retail operations and that the Province establish regulations covering retailers and ensuring that there is a provincial standard.
  2. That within the Provincial regime local governments retain their zoning authority as to the location of both public and private retail outlets.
  3. The Province introduce a retail model for medical and non-medical cannabis that maintains opportunities for local enterprise, craft enterprise and small business in the cultivation, distribution and retail sale of medical and non-medical cannabis.

General Motions
That with the exception of provincially regulated smoking lounges, local smoking regulations apply to smoking of cannabis. That senior levels of government, in discussion with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, develop a fair and equitable revenue sharing model with local governments. View the report.

2017 Development Summit Action Plan
Council approved the 2017 Development Summit Action Plan. Staff will provide an update to Council on the status of the plan’s action items and report back in May 2018 on the planned event details for the 2018 Development Summit. View the report.

Lease Agreement for 1240 Yates Street
The City will sign a six-month lease agreement with the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation (BC Housing) to enable Our Place to operate a seasonal 24/7 shelter for up to 40 residents at 1240 Yates Street up to April 30, 2018. School District 61 and My Place Neighbourhood Group were consulted on the proposed use at an information meeting on November 8 at Central Middle School, and do not oppose the use of the property for this purpose. View the report.

Council Workshop: Draft Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan
Council participated in a workshop to consider the community’s feedback and provide input on the Create Victoria Draft Plan. Based on the community’s input, staff will bring a revised draft plan and develop a draft implementation framework for Council’s consideration on December 14, 2017. The project’s Economic Impact Assessment report was received for information. View the full report and engagement details (Agenda item 18).

Public Hearing: Rezoning Application and Heritage Designation Application for 750 Pemberton Road
Following a public hearing, Council approved the rezoning of the residential property at 750 Pemberton Road to allow for the construction of three, new single family dwelling units, while maintaining the existing heritage designation. View the Development Tracker for details.

Emergency Services Grant Application
The City will apply for a $25,000 grant through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund for its Emergency Social Services training and exercise program. View the report.

Advocacy to Government of Canada on Carbon Pricing
City Council will endorse an open letter to the Government of Canada on carbon pricing, calling for an extension of the rising national price on carbon to the year 2030; and on behalf of Council, the Mayor will write to Prime Minister Trudeau in support of this policy.

Accessibility Options for Including Pollinator Habitat in City Playgrounds
City staff will work with the Accessibility Working Group and Urban Food Table and report back on options for balancing accessibility considerations with pollinator habitat in the vicinity of City playgrounds. This information will inform an update to the Parks Master Plan’s implementation plan.

Regional Transit
Council adopted a resolution to ask the Government of British Columbia and BC Transit to work with the Capital Regional District and local governments to introduce an effective Regional Transportation Authority in the Capital Region, with responsibilities including governance and operations of public transit. The City is committed to working with the Ministry of Transportation, the Capital Regional District and the Transit Commission to fix transit in the region, including rapid transit from downtown to the Westshore, without delay. 

Smart South Island Symposium
City Council received a report from the South Island Prosperity Project on the Smart South Island Symposium that is taking place on Saturday, November 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre. This is the first event in a two-part Smart South Island Symposium series to debate the opportunities and challenges that come with the smart and sustainable development of communities across the South Island region. Learn more.