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Victoria Harbour Authority Issues


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#281 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 08:31 AM

Is there a conflict of interest?  
 
Elected public officials earn $10-15,000 annually as directors of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority  
  
Taxpayers now have a better idea what elected public officials are compensated on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority board following a ruling by the provincial Civil Resolution Tribunal.
 
The nine-page binding decision ordered the GVHA to provide signed financial statements for 2018-19, and a breakdown of the $186,801 total director fees. While directors were not named, the harbour authority was required to divulge what was paid to each director including the position, title, and capacity. The provincial non-profit society was also ordered to pay $225 in costs.
 
As a result of the decision, Grumpy Taxpayer$ has learned most GVHA directors are paid between $10- $15,000 annually. It's a nice top up to a base council salary and any other remuneration earned through attending committees, commissions, and other bodies.
 
(The CRD, for example, pays its 24 directors $13,559 along with an expense allowance of $6,779 annually, in addition to top ups for committee and commission responsibilities plus various stipends for attending a meeting).   
 
"At this level of salary at the GVHA the question becomes, 'Are mayors and councillors in breach of their fiduciary duty to their elected positions on local government?'" says John Treleaven, vice-chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria. "Can they serve two masters?"  
 
In our view, there's an inherent conflict of interest between their role on the GVHA board and the duties and responsibilities as elected public officials. The underlying legislation, the Community Charter, devotes an entire section to conflict of interest and speaks clearly about the need to avoid it in reality or in appearance, Treleaven says.  
   
Taxpayers also have a right to know about any and all income and benefits of any director derived as a consequence of their elected position on local government and that it be publicly reported and disclosed annually.
 
Elected public officials are often paid more than we realize because of other roles they take on and a lack of transparency around remuneration. 
 
At the urging of Grumpy Taxpayer$, the City of Victoria (followed by Saanich) now has a dedicated page on municipal websites that details council pay and remuneration.  
 
Current public officials on the GVHA include Saanich Coun. Susan Brice (CRD representative), Mayor Barb Desjardins (Esquimault), and Coun. Marianne Alto (Victoria). Margaret Lucas, a former City of Victoria councillor, sits as an independent.  
 
Due to the negative financial impacts of COVID-19 on GVHA, the board approved a motion to eliminate directors' meeting fees as of May 1, 2020. This decision will be revisited at the December 2020 board meeting.


#282 Mike K.

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 10:28 AM

If a developer can head a Victoria neighbourhood association's land use committee, what's the big deal over the GVHA and elected officials getting paid? The perceptions are the same.


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#283 IPH

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 07:54 PM

If a developer can head a Victoria neighbourhood association's land use committee, what's the big deal over the GVHA and elected officials getting paid? The perceptions are the same.

Has this actually happened?



#284 Mike K.

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 07:55 PM

It’s happening right now at the DRA.

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#285 IPH

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 08:01 PM

Ah, right forgot about Ian!


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#286 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 04:21 AM

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s annual report, released Wednesday, shows it posted a surplus of $3.6 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31, thanks to record revenues of $16.3 million.

 

 

But the good news ended there.

 

________________________

 

 

 

 

Possible scenarios include no 2021 cruise season at all, or a season with fewer vessels, carrying 50 to 60 per cent passenger loads and increased safety protocols on board and on shore.

 

https://www.timescol...year-1.24213227


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 01 October 2020 - 04:22 AM.


#287 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 04:43 PM

The lost revenue will also be noticeable across the organization’s properties. Landscaping and beautification throughout the Inner Harbour will be substantially reduced and the ‘Welcome to Victoria’ garden on the south side of the Lower Causeway, won’t be planted or maintained.

 

 

 

https://www.vicnews....ruise-ship-ban/

 

 

 

honestly can't they just tend to that thing?  it can't be that hard.  call for volunteers if you are really that strapped.

 

 

 

 

dkn_welcometovictoria3.jpg


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 04 February 2021 - 04:45 PM.


#288 Sparky

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:23 PM

How about a go fund me campaign to pay for plants and a staff member instead of laying them off.

Maybe change the wording to GOOD BYE COVID.

#289 Mike K.

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:28 PM

That’s a brilliant idea, sparky!

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#290 Mike K.

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:51 PM

Here's the statement from the GVHA:

 

Statement on the extended suspension of cruise in Canada
As the owner and operator of the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, we support the decision by Transport Canada to extend the suspension of cruise in Canada until Feb. 28, 2022. 

 

The health and safety of the community, and the efforts made to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remain our top priority. Cruise will resume when it is safe to do so, when border restrictions are removed, and when people may safely enjoy non-essential travel.

 

For our not-for-profit organization, cruise represents more than 70% of our annual revenues, or more than $12.5 million in 2020. The impact on our organization has led to a permanent reduction of staff in some departments and a move to essential service only in our operations. Contracts with many local businesses have also been cut or reduced due to these reductions. Further cuts to services remain possible and will be reviewed by management.

 

Victorians will see the impact of lost revenues across our properties. We will proceed with substantially reduced landscaping and beautification throughout the Inner Harbour – including the inability to plant and maintain the ‘Welcome to Victoria’ garden on the south side of the Lower Causeway. Many events – those that are safe to operate under Provincial Health Orders – will be cancelled due to our inability to dedicate staff time or financial support.

 

We also know that the extension of this suspension will create a devastating impact on the dozens of local, small businesses that are involved with cruise in Victoria. Over the past year, businesses that serve the cruise industry adjusted, postponed, and pivoted with the hope that cruise would return in 2021. This further uncertainty will have a lasting impact on small businesses in Greater Victoria. We hope that many of these businesses will survive the coming months until the resumption of cruise is permitted.

 

We look forward to the safe resumption of cruise in the future, which will be a result of national efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 including increased health and safety measures, vaccinations, and continued personal layers of personal protection. Our team will be ready to welcome passengers and crew when ships return to Victoria.

 

About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. The organization is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, represented by four independent community members and eight Member Agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, The Chamber, Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society, and Destination Greater Victoria.

 

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including the Ogden Point Breakwater, Inner Harbour lower causeway, Ship Point, and customs dock at Raymur Point. Within its commercial and marine industrial holdings are The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The organization manages the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, which contributes more than $130 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and is responsible for 800 direct and indirect jobs.


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#291 Nparker

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 06:29 PM

...We look forward to the safe resumption of cruise in the future, which will be a result of national efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 including increased health and safety measures, vaccinations, and continued personal layers of personal protection...

GVHA to introduce its own line of cruise wear which will be available for purchase at Ogden Point for guests of the first ship in 2022.

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Enjoy your time in the Garden City!


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