Sustainability remains top priority for City of Victoria

Mayor Dean Fortin defends the city's emphasis on sustainability, despite loss of department

Re: City axes sustainability department (News, Aug. 30)

I believe this article gives the wrong impression.

It is important for readers to know that sustainability remains extremely important to the City of Victoria and will continue to be a guiding principal within our organization.

The City recognized, much like North Vancouver, that it needed to approach sustainability in a more holistic, systematic and robust way in its own operations.

Building on the foundations laid by the sustainability department, sustainability functions have been integrated into the fabric of our operations, where it can optimally inform planning, decisions and policy.

In recognition of this change, the City’s planning and development department has been renamed the department of sustainable planning and community development.

As reporter Daniel Palmer noted, the mandate of the former sustainability department is already entrenched in many municipal decisions, thanks in part to our recently updated Official Community Plan.

We will continue to work towards increasing alternative modes of transportation, affordable housing, community gardens and other sustainable initiatives.

The City of Victoria did make a substantive change to the structure of the organization in order to meet our commitment to limit tax increases to 3.25 per cent.

We have eliminated an entire level of senior management and reduced the management reporting structure.

As a result all directors will report to the city manager.

Mayor Dean Fortin

City of Victoria