March 28, 2019

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.

2018 Municipal Election – Lessons Learned
In a report detailing lessons learned from the 2018 Municipal Election, staff outlined improvements from previous years and challenges including line-ups at certain polling stations due to increasedvoter turn-out. Council approved staff to arrange for two additional voting machines at each voting location, and secure additional voting locations in the city for general voting day in 2022.

Read the staff report here.

Victoria Police Department Budget
Council agreed at the March 21 meeting to hold the Victoria Police Department (VicPD) budget tax impact to inflation plus 1%, inclusive of the Employer Health Tax. To achieve this, an additional $858,000 in savings needed to be found from the proposed budget. VicPD identified savings totalling $247,200 with Council identifying the remaining savings through reductions in retirement liability funding and vehicle reserve contributions. With these savings, the increase to the VicPD budget for 2019 is 3.4%; when adding the cost to hire six new officers mandated by the Province, that increase totals 4.06%. 

Approval of Micro Grants
Micro grants have been awarded to four organizations for community garden or boulevard garden initiatives, including the Burnside Gorge Community Association, Fairfield Gonzales Community Association, James Bay Neighbourhood Association, and the Vic West Food Security Collective. The total grant amount awarded was $1950.

Change to Liquor Licence - Hours and Occupant Load for Refuge Tap Room at 832 Fort Street
An application to the Liquor Licensing Agency for Refuge Tap Room has been endorsed by City Council. The application requests a change of hours to 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with outdoor patio areas having hours not later than 10 p.m. on any day, and an occupant load of 66 persons.

Liquor Licence Application – Lounge Endorsement to a Manufacturer’s Licence (brewing) for Herald Street Brew Works at 506 Herald Street
An application to the Liquor Licensing Agency for a lounge in addition to a manufacturer’s licence for Herald Street Brew Works has been endorsed by City Council. Council’s endorsement for the application comes with hours of operation from 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with an occupant load of 178 persons.

Downtown Victoria Business Association – Business Improvement Area Renewal Request
The Downtown Victoria Business Association has managed a Business Improvement Area (BIA) under provisions of the Community Charter since 2005. Legislation enables the City to enact a bylaw, with the consent of the majority of property owners, to establish a BIA tax in a specified area to raise funds to pay for business promotion programs through the DVBA. The current bylaw is in place for the years 2015-2019, and will expire at the end of this year. As in past years, the City has approved an alternative approval process, meaning that unless 50% of owners in the specified BIA with 50% of the total assessment petition against the BIA, the bylaw will be renewed for a further five years.

Enhancing Parkland and Community Services at 950 Kings Road
Council is in favour of the retention of parkland and community services at 950 Kings Road, to provide a neighbourhood and community amenity in an area that is seeing substantial current and future densification. In addition Council also favours the rapid creation of new non-market housing options of high quality design on the Provincial government-owned land at 2505 Blanshard Street (Evergreen Terrace) with early and meaningful engagement of the existing residents and the Downtown Blanshard Advisory Committee, as well as no net loss of family townhouse units and apartment units at equivalent to existing rent levels.

Council Resolutions:

Call for Appropriate Levels of Funding for Legal Aid
Council endorsed a resolution to recognize legal aid as an essential public service that provides legal representation to the most vulnerable, marginalized and impoverished members of our city and that chronic underfunding of legal aid has led to serious inequality in the delivery of legal services in our communities. The resolution also encourages the Province of BC to resolve this matter with the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers.

Improving Public Safety and Efficiency through a Regional Police Department
Council endorsed a resolution to be sent to the Provincial Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Members of the Legislative Assembly representing residents of the Township of Esquimalt and City of Victoria, to the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board, and to the Mayor and Council of the Township of Esquimalt requesting that the Province establish a Regional Police Department for the Capital Region, governed by a reconstituted Police Board, with funding allocated according to the established funding formula among CRD member local governments.

Advocacy for Provincial Climate Leadership
Council endorsed a resolution to be sent to Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia urging them to:

  1. Declare a Provincial Climate Emergency
  2. Embrace provincial taxation and natural resource policies that reduce climate changing greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Consider voting against the income Tax Amendment Act 2019, and proposed tax subsidies to fossil-fuel corporations, focusing instead on economic incentives to expand renewable and low-card sources of employment, revenues and economic development