Tim Morrison was first elected as an Esquimalt councillor in 2011 and has served on the Advisory Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation Committee, Environment Committee, Buccaneer Days Committee and the Victoria & Esquimalt Harbour Society Board. With extensive experience in provincial government communications, Tim is the senior communications advisor for the BC Assessment Authority and registered member of the Canadian Public Relations Society. Tim has also worked as a teacher, school trustee, travel writer and international tour guide with experience in nearly 80 countries on six continents. Tim’s prior community involvement includes serving as chair of the Esquimalt Residents Association, founding editor of EsquimaltReview.com, a Director of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce, and an Esquimalt Block Watch Captain. Tim has a Simon Fraser University degree in political science, communications and geography and a Certificate in urban studies.
Plans if elected:
My first term on council has been quite eventful. Our council team has had some major achievements including a three-year freeze on property tax increases with no reduction in our municipal services or infrastructure maintenance; a resolution to the decade-long dispute over policing costs that has resulted in better policing services for Esquimalt at a lower overall cost; and we succeeded in stopping the CRD from dumping all the region’s sewage treatment upon Esquimalt. We have also opened up the doors on municipal hall and engaged our community with unprecedented levels of public access to information. Any and all public information that council possesses is readily available on our Esquimalt.ca website and we have implemented the live online streaming of all council meetings, so that the public can keep tabs on council from the comfort of their own homes.
With these major successes achieved over the past three years, we now need to focus on the economic revitalization of Esquimalt and a better future for our community. We need new investment, quality businesses, better housing options and a vibrant lifestyle for residents and visitors to Esquimalt. Over the next term of council, we want to make Esquimalt the place to be. To achieve this, I have worked with the community and my council colleagues to put together an Esquimalt Economic Development Strategy through a series of grassroots round-table sessions between council, local residents, and representatives from small business, tourism, development, education and training, ship repair and defence, environment, arts and culture, and health and wellness.
We have a plan and it will be implemented. In particular, I want to focus on Esquimalt Road with renewed vibrancy for our main street as a showcase of community renewal. Section 226 of the Community Charter provides local governments the authority to implement tax incentives and other strategies to attract new, better quality businesses. To use this authority, a council must legally establish a revitalization program (with defined reasons for and objectives of the program) and enter into agreements with potential new businesses that may include temporary property tax exemptions once all specified conditions of the program and the agreement have been met. These conditions would include locating or re-locating onto Esquimalt Road, renovations to storefronts with significant aesthetic improvements and long-term lease commitments.
I will work with the community to identify the most desirable businesses to recruit to take part in this program such as restaurants, cafes, speciality niche shops, medical professionals, and credit unions as some examples. We also need to have our Esquimalt Village Core project become a reality. Council has already been engaging with reputable investors and potential tenants to make this happen. We live in an amazingly beautiful natural environment, but we need to transform our main street into a hub of more attractive and inviting socio-economic activity. We are better than pay-day loan stores and empty, run-down storefronts. Together, we will get there.