Delta coun­cil­lor pro­poses ditch­ing costly ini­tia­tive

No­tice of mo­tion in­tro­duced at meet­ing to scrap part of Metro Van­cou­ver bud­get

Vancouver Sun - - CITY - JEN­NIFER SALT­MAN jen­salt­[email protected]­ twit­­salt­man

A Delta coun­cil­lor wants Metro Van­cou­ver to aban­don an ini­tia­tive meant to pro­mote eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion.

“That thing should be dropped to­day, don’t spend an­other cent on it,” Delta Coun. Lois Jack­son said Fri­day at a Metro board of di­rec­tors meet­ing. “We do not have a man­date for that sort of thing.”

The Re­gional Pros­per­ity Ini­tia­tive is a group of representatives from pub­lic and pri­vate or­ga­ni­za­tions and lo­cal gov­ern­ments that works to­gether to “ad­vance shared eco­nomic pros­per­ity, liv­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity in Canada’s Pa­cific gate­way,” ac­cord­ing to its vi­sion state­ment. The ini­tia­tive was pro­posed in a 2015 green pa­per.

Two projects have come out of the ini­tia­tive so far: re­gional mo­bile busi­ness li­cens­ing and a re­gional reg­is­tra­tion por­tal for film­ing. Its 2018 to 2020 work plan in­cludes meet­ings, fo­rums, di­a­logues, re­search­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth, mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tion and to-be-de­ter­mined “high-im­pact” projects.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2019-23 fi­nan­cial plan, re­gional pros­per­ity will be a $500,000 ex­pen­di­ture in 2019, up 72 per cent from $300,000 in 2018. By 2023, it’s ex­pected to cost $2.5 mil­lion.

“Why are we do­ing that? I don’t think we’re get­ting re­turn on the dol­lar,” Jack­son said.

Jack­son in­tro­duced a no­tice of mo­tion to aban­don that part of the bud­get, which will be con­sid­ered at a fu­ture meet­ing. Rich­mond Mayor Mal­colm Brodie sug­gested a re­quest for more in­for­ma­tion about the ini­tia­tive and its fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions, but Jack­son dis­agreed.

She also made a mo­tion to have staff look at re­duc­ing the 2019 tax and fee in­crease for re­gional res­i­dents. “We can do this at the mu­nic­i­pal level, why can’t we do it here?” she said.

That mo­tion will also be con­sid­ered at a fu­ture meet­ing.

That thing should be dropped to­day, don’t spend an­other cent on it.

Lois Jack­son


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