Congratulations to the South Island Prosperity Partnership which grabbed top honours in the 5th annual Candy Cane Awards sponsored by the civic watchdog Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.
SIPPs is recognized for successfully mobilizing leaders across the community to develop an economic development plan during the pandemic.
“The effectiveness of the SIPP partnership shows the power of working together as a region on our shared economic and social prosperity, most significantly during the perilous circumstances in which we find ourselves today,” says chair John Treleaven.
Their report, Reboot – Greater Victoria’s Regional Economic Recovery, was followed by Rising Economy Week, a virtual conference in which 1,100 leaders from B.C. and the prairie provinces, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon in partnership with Pacific Northwest Region participated.
SIPP is an alliance of over 65 public and private-sector partners in Greater Victoria, including 11 local governments, nine First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine industry associations and nonprofits, and more than 30 major employers.
As for second place, Santa Claus recently tested the city’s renewed, revamped and repaved Dallas Road – a scenic showpiece for locals and tourists – and reports there were no reindeer hobbled or gifts that fell out of the sleigh.
“The City of Victoria is to be commended for investing in our aging and critical infrastructure which is considered by residents as a prudent use of tax dollars,” says Treleaven.
Road improvements were made as part of the sewer treatment project and received funding from various levels of government.
“Much work remains to be done though and we hope this is a signal that infrastructure renewal will continue as a priority. About 10 per cent of the city’s 270 km of roads are considered in very poor condition and need to be completely restored,” says Treleaven.
Third place honours goes to the Town Of Sidney – now a multiple award winner – for continuing to hold the line on property taxes.
Sidney council has voted to make business tax cuts of 10 per cent permanent as it heads into 2021. Staff have also recommended that half of a $2.75 million federal grant go toward mitigating the impact of the pandemic and the remainder go toward tax reduction.
“It’s budget time again and municipalities should be reminded that navigating the world and life’s potholes these days is challenging enough without adding to business and residential property taxes,” says Treleaven. “They’ve done what no other municipality has done,” he says.
Times are tough.
So, each winner will receive a box of coveted and tasty candy canes – found in a bargain bin in January 2020. The three containers of 10- 50g Mini Candy Canes cost $2.76 in total, setting a new low budget record for this line item.
City of Victoria Pavement Management Analysis, IMS Infrastructure Management Services, 2019.
Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan, 2020-22, South Island Prosperity Plan, 2020.
Available for Media Interviews:
John Treleaven, chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$ 
250.656.7899, cell 250.588.7899
Stan Bartlett, past-chair, Grumpy Taxpayer$  
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