EDITORIAL: New public safety building combo makes sense for Victoria

Victoria Fire Department deserves a new No. 1 hall after 50-plus years

Victoria is looking to embark on a unique project in the City’s history, with the announcement that the proposed new No. 1 fire hall and public safety building be part of a multi-use development downtown.

The project is different for the City in that it would combine three functions that are frequently linked but have separate organizational structures: the fire department, the ambulance service and the City’s emergency management program.

Placing the heart of the City’s disaster management in the main fire hall mirrors what View Royal did with their new public safety building a few years back. Although that jurisdiction is much smaller than Victoria, the concept of having the fire department’s top managers close at hand in the event of a natural disaster or other public emergency is similar and makes a lot of sense. Some of those individuals already play leadership roles in disaster management for the City.

Other similarities exist, like the fact both departments are or were in original buildings built back in the 1950s, when fire protection and the delivery of emergency services were vastly different.

The VFD deserves a new main hall and under the financial framework in place and the partnership with a private builder, at least for now, taxpayers won’t be on the hook to kick in extra on any cost overruns of this project. It seems reminiscent of the deal the City struck with RG Properties to construct Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, although RG continues to manage the City owned venue.

The proposed site seems a little unusual, given that the area is becoming surrounded by high rise condo and rental buildings. But if the financial aspects of the plan work better than rebuilding on the same site further up Yates Street, and no geographical challenges exist with being located on Johnson Street, why not?

Council gets the final say on this plan, but having already approved where the money will come from for this proposal, we doubt the plan will face much opposition around the table.

Just Posted

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations open new RV Park

Both nations excited about new economic venture

Ready for day two at the Home Expo

One exhibitor, Atlas Junk Removal, uses their trucks for a good cause

UVic team revved up for international competition

Students geared up for Formula Hybrid April 30 to May 3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

UPDATE: Victoria hosts first National Cannabis Conference

Vendors, shoppers and cannabis-curious folk head to the Victoria Conference Centre

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Saanich mayor recommends fall referendum on future amalgamation talks

A Saanich councillor applauds the possibility of a referedum on whether Saanich… Continue reading

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

Most Read