Victoria inks regional green innovation deal

The mayors of Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle have agreed to cross develop and promote a green innovation sector.

The agreement entails working together to market, conduct research and attract investment in the Cascadia Region. The three mayors signed the letter of intent during the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Communities Conference and Trade Show.

“Green innovation and the clean-tech sector truly marries our quality of life with quality of opportunity,” said Fortin in a press release.

“Vancouver has a lot of momentum as a global hub for the green economy,” added Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Partnering with the cities of Victoria and Seattle ... makes us more competitive on the world stage.”

This is the first time the annual conference has left Ottawa. The four-day event, running Feb. 8 through 11, has brought about 500 delegates to Victoria.

Victoria was twice recognized at the event.

On Tuesday night, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities presented awards to municipalities for projects that demonstrate excellence in environmental responsibilities.

Victoria took away a prize for its secondary suites program, which provides grants to homeowners interested in renovating their home to include a suite.

“Secondary suites help improve housing affordability; increasing the density of our neighbourhoods while protecting green space,” said Fortin.

Victoria also placed first among small cities in this year’s Sustainable Cities Rankings conducted by Corporate Knights, Canada’s magazine for clean capitalism. Assessed on 26 indicators, Victoria stood out for having low average long-term household debt.

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