The provincial government has announced its new southern Vancouver Island transportation strategy and it’s geared toward moving islanders in a number of ways.

The strategy takes in the area between Victoria and Duncan and west to Sooke and Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean said this strategy is a first in how people move.

“For the first time, we’re actually going to be looking at creating a strategy of transportation across all of south Vancouver Island,” said Dean. “It’s going to be a multi-modular approach as well, so that means not only looking at transit and the roads but also looking at cycling, rail, marine, and even pedestrian movements.”

Dean said, “We’re going to make sure there’s engagement with Indigenous people as we move forward.”

When it comes to the building of a bridge across the Finlayson Arm portion of the Saanich Inlet, Dean said experts and politicians will look at where the potential ‘pinch points’ are in the south island and come up with solutions.

While the announcement has been made, we are a long way from a finalized strategy.

Dean said the request for qualifications is underway, and by the time the request for proposals comes along, some very qualified experts will be on board.

“So that we have really qualified people helping us with this and people who are also very competent and skilled at being able to engage with Indigenous communities and provide us with analysis of how traffic actually does move around the region,” said Dean. “Come up with ideas and suggestions about how we can make that more efficient,” said Dean.

Dean said by March of next year, the strategy will provide a much better idea of what transportation will look like on the island.