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Victoria best in West at fostering green building, report finds

Carla Wilson
Times Colonist
Carla Wilson
Times Colonist

Victoria is outstripping Western Canada’s largest cities when it comes to regulations encouraging green buildings, according to a new report on urban energy management.

The Canada West Foundation, a think thank, examined urban energy management in the seven largest cities in the West for its report, Buildings, Bicycles and ’Burbs, released Monday.

While all cities in the report made progress, Victoria and Vancouver lead the way, in part, because the provincial government has set a high standard, the report said.

“The B.C. government has created a comprehensive and extensive energy plan which targets energy efficiency and conservation.”

Mayor Dean Fortin said Victoria is taking a progressive approach.

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City making headway in fight against crime

Dean Fortin
Times Colonist
Dean Fortin
Times Colonist

At the start of this year, Victoria welcomed a new police chief and a new police board, and we are working toward a new policing agreement for Victoria and Esquimalt.

As we move forward, we have an opportunity to reflect on how far community safety has come in Victoria in the last five years and the steps we are taking to build on our success.

Five years ago, late-night public disorder in the downtown core was a serious, growing problem, the mental-health crisis on our streets was getting more severe and the overall crime rate in our region was above the national average.

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Deferment of Victoria utility bills proposed for seniors, disabled

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin: "All of those [water or garbage collection] are costs, whether you are in your own home or renting or whether you are in a seniors' facility, that you will pay. We know that if we can help keep low-income seniors in their own homes, they're happier, they're healthier and it's more cost-effective."
Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin: "All of those [water or garbage collection] are costs, whether you are in your own home or renting or whether you are in a seniors' facility, that you will pay. We know that if we can help keep low-income seniors in their own homes, they're happier, they're healthier and it's more cost-effective."
Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist

Seniors and people with disabilities should be able to defer the costs of garbage pickup and water and sewer utilities as they can with their property taxes, say Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin and Coun. Ben Isitt.

The two suggest that council ask the province to expand the property-tax deferment program to include municipal utilities.

Under the provincial property-tax deferment program, homeowners 55 and older and people with disabilities can defer their property taxes for as long as they own and live in their homes.

The taxes are due, with nominal interest, when the home is sold.

Fortin said the idea of expanding the program to include utilities was suggested to him by seniors during his regular mayor’s open-door sessions.

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Mayor sees construction surge on horizon for downtown Victoria

Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist

Victoria’s downtown is in the midst of an economic upturn heading into 2014, says Mayor Dean Fortin.

“We have to recognize that in the last five years, and particularly the last couple, we have more cranes up than in 2006, which was the height of the building boom,” Fortin said in a year-end interview.

“We really have a continued renewal going on, particularly in the downtown.”

Fortin is particularly excited about a couple of major office projects still on the horizon.

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Mayor sees construction surge on horizon for downtown Victoria

Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist

Victoria’s downtown is in the midst of an economic upturn heading into 2014, says Mayor Dean Fortin.

“We have to recognize that in the last five years, and particularly the last couple, we have more cranes up than in 2006, which was the height of the building boom,” Fortin said in a year-end interview.

“We really have a continued renewal going on, particularly in the downtown.”

Fortin is particularly excited about a couple of major office projects still on the horizon.

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