Rick Stiebel/News Staff
The South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) has added a new member to the family, with an eye toward working together to provide greener transportation options by rail.
SIPP welcomed the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) as its newest member on Friday, Nov. 1. ICF is a non-profit, federally registered charity established for the purpose of owning and managing the rail corridor on Vancouver Island.
ICF joins a group of other transportation-focused SIPP members that includes BC Transit, BC Ferries, Wilson’s Group, Harbour Air, Victoria Harbour Authority, and Victoria International Airport.
“Approximately 80 per cent of the population of Vancouver Island lives within five kilometres of the railway, the main exceptions being the North Island and the Saanich Peninsula,” Andrea Thomas, manager of corridor development for the ICF, said in a media release. “The rail corridor offers tremendous potential as a green transportation alternative and as an important connection between communities, both economically and socially.”
Rail is a key element in an integrated transportation system that includes all forms of transportation, including buses, ferries and other modes, Thomas noted. “We’re thrilled to be part of SIPP and look forward to working together on improving transportation options in the region.”
Bruce Williams, the interim CEO for SIPP, said their mandate as the economic development partnership for Greater Victoria is to bolster the local economy, in part by forming partnerships and collaborating with organizations that contribute to a strong, robust economy. “SIPP is pleased to welcome Island Corridor Foundation aboard. We look forward to collaborating with our newest member on transportation initiatives in the region.”
SIPP is the economic development organization for Greater Victoria. It is comprised of more than 50 members, including 10 local governments, seven First Nations, three post-secondary institutions and more than 30 major employers.