Increasing focus on climate mitigation and resiliency in long-term planning

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) submitted a request to the City of Victoria Mayor & Council for an extension to the process for the Master Plan for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point.

The request included an extension to the Memorandum of Understanding between GVHA and the City of Victoria to Dec. 31, 2025. This extension will allow GVHA to further develop an overall ‘development narrative’ consistent with the James Bay Neighbourhood Plan (once developed) and pursue appropriate master plan development opportunities that are consistent with GVHA’s 10-Year Strategic Plan.

Within this request for extension, GVHA outlines the need to shift resources away from the development of the Master Plan for The Breakwater District due to investments in environmental priorities.

GVHA will pursue areas of environmental focus that will:

  • Determine the feasibility, business case, and funding sources to support the installation of shore power;
  • Collaborate with the federal government to pursue further environmental examination and remediation of the deep-water facility; and,
  • Where prudent, refurbish existing facilities to improve environmental and operational footprints.

“Our organization remains focused on the long-term viability for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, but it is clear that we need to first focus on these areas of environmental sustainability before pursuing any short or long-term development to the site,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “This allows us, as a not-for-profit organization, to allocate resources to these important development areas. We remain committed to working with our partners and eight member agencies, including the City of Victoria, as we focus on reducing the impact of greenhouse gases at The Breakwater District.”

In January 2019, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority engaged Synergy Enterprises, a carbon accounting and energy audit firm, to conduct a full-scale audit and emissions inventory for the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District. The analysis was completed in August 2019 and included benchmarks from 2010, 2014, and 2018.

While the report highlighted significant improvements in emissions over time, the main recommendation brought forward was to explore shore power for the terminal to assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air contaminants from cruise ships in port.

It is estimated that with shore power installed the terminal would see a:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction: 51% of hotelling (in port), 36% of all cruise
  • Emission Reduction: 47% of hotelling, 33% of all cruise

GVHA has engaged global infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol to develop the full business case for the Victoria Cruise Terminal. The work will be completed by mid-year.

Master Plan development and decision process

In 2006, guided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the City, GVHA committed to preparing a comprehensive development plan for the deep-water terminal at Ogden Point. Since that time GVHA has invested significant resources in developing a plan that would reflect multiple needs of the working harbour and community and provide a sustainable operation over the next 30 years.

This work culminated in a Final Draft Submission of the Ogden Point Master Plan in December 2016.  Based on feedback from city staff, in 2017 the organization continued to prepare supporting reports for Market and Transportation analysis of the proposed project.

In 2018, the GVHA Board of Directors made the decision to seek a long-term development partner to work alongside GVHA and its Member Agencies, including the Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation, to develop a robust team to successfully deliver a world-class development to Victoria and the Region.  To provide proper oversight, GVHA struck the Ogden Point Development Committee (OPDC).

In April 2019, the GVHA Board of Directors and OPDC agreed to retain the services of Jonathan Huggett to review the process to-date and work with GVHA to identify a sustainable path forward. Mr. Huggett made several key recommendations that the Board of Directors adopted, among them being additional environmental work required on the site.