As summer arrives, and many of us transition toward outdoor recreational and cultural pursuits, I want to provide an update on happenings in the city and region.
1. Outdoor Culture and Recreation
First, I would like to draw your attention to the CityVibe guide, listing dozens of festivals and cultural events taking place this summer sponsored by the City of Victoria. I would also like to draw your attention to the range of recreational opportunities in our expansive CRD Parks system, from swimming and hiking to dog walking, canoeing and picnicking on a beach.
2. Public Hearing on Victoria’s Official Community Plan
This Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30pm, City Council will hold an important Public Hearing on Victoria’s new Official Community Plan. You can read the plan here and share your views with City Council at the public hearing at City Hall or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This document will guide land use and transportation for the next 30 years, so have your say. While I support much of the vision in the document, I believe certain areas require amendment, particularly the idea that public land around Victoria Harbour should be developed rather than protected and enhanced as community greenspace. I think a children’s playground and outdoor amphitheatre would be a great addition to two City lots below Wharf Street on the Inner Harbour.
3. Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Earlier this month, I attended the annual convention of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Saskatoon. Important debates unfolded on the convention floor, as I joined former federal Fisheries Minister Tom Siddon and others in advocating for habitat protections in the Fisheries Act and other environment legislation.
While in Saskatoon, I met with the mayors of Vancouver and Calgary, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair, as well as city councillors from BC to Toronto to Montreal. I also attended workshops on public realm improvements to Saskatoon’s downtown and waterfront, responses to escalating policing costs and public-private partnerships, and a forum on municipal health regulations sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society.
4. A Celebration of the Life of Paul Phillips
This Saturday, June 30, at 1:00pm, a memorial is taking place at the Little Fernwood Hall (1923 Fernwood Road) for Paul Phillips, whose contribution to the neighbourhood and city I discussed last month (you can read a bio and listen to an interview with Paul here). I will be discussing Paul’s legacy ― including Fernwood Square, the FCA and Fernwood NRG buildings, the Spring Ridge Housing Co-op, and the Compost Education Centre ― on CBC Radio this Friday at 8:10am.
I hope to see you at the Celebration of Paul’s life, which will include food, music (including Paul’s folk music from the 1960s), stories, and a procession through Fernwood commemorating Paul’s work.
5. Summer Office Hours
This summer, I am taking my open office hours on the road. Call 250-882-9302 for my summer schedule or visit my website (www.BenIsitt.ca). Please stop by and share your ideas for our community.
Enjoy the summer and stay in touch!