Excellence in Governance Awards

The Community Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate UBCM members that exhibit excellence in meeting the purposes of local government and demonstrate successful pathways for others to follow. This week, the City of Richmond and the Village of Canal Flats are highlighted as the winner and the honourable mention recipient of the Excellence in Governance Awards.

City of Richmond

The City of Richmond won the 2019 Excellence in Governance category for its 2017-2022 child care needs assessment strategy initiative. In 2016, the City conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of its child care needs to plan for the next five years.

The review had a high degree of public engagement using a range of tools including bus shelter ads, focus groups, extensive social media, and surveys of the operators of 110 child care facilities. The analysis included a literature review, demographic analysis, and a review of best practices.

The information gathered was used to develop the 2017-2022 Child Care Needs Assessment and Strategy. The Strategy is inclusive and strives to represent the needs of a diverse Richmond community. It incorporates emerging trends in early child development and early learning, such as hubs that contain both child care and co-located, family support services.

The strategy also includes updated child care design guidelines that provide clarity to developers, architects and child care operators with the City’s expectations for the design and finish of child care facilities that will become municipal assets.

Since the adoption of the Strategy there has been significant progress and the City of Richmond has achieved many recommended short-term action items within the first 18 months.

Village of Canal Flats

The Village of Canal Flats took an integrated economic development approach to the creation of their new Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

The Village had lost its major employer in 2015 when Canfor permanently shut down the sawmill. With an immediate population decline of 7%, Canal Flats realized that the past would not be the future.

The residents, Council, village staff and facilitative consultants worked together to design planning policy that would be a catalyst for economic development. The key policy breakthroughs were:  housing innovation; work-live downtown revival; mixed-use master planning; and economic development planning that nurtures accelerated investment.

In the last three years, the community has attracted major investment in industrial development and the Columbia Lake Technology Centre has been established by the private sector.

The population is growing and average assessed values increased by 30% in 2018.

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