Delta councillor proposes ditching costly initiative
Notice of motion introduced at meeting to scrap part of Metro Vancouver budget
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.