The District of Squamish wants your say on its guiding plan for the next four years.
The 2023-2026 Strategic Plan will help guide decision-making at municipal hall over the course of mayor and council’s term. The plan identifies council’s highest priorities and provides direction to district staff on achieving those outcomes.
“Council is pleased to share our most critical priorities and further demonstrate our commitment to work in collaboration with staff, community and government partners to create a vibrant, inclusive, resilient, connected and thriving Squamish,” said Mayor Armand Hurford in a release Friday, June 2. “This plan addresses the unique circumstances this community is currently facing as we aim to address affordability, connectivity, ongoing economic development, resilience in response to climate change and so much more. The plan will help us move the dial on key aspects of our Official Community Plan over the course of our term, as we work towards our long-term community vision.”
The guiding document breaks down council’s strategic objectives into four core focus areas:
- “Connected and Livable Community,” which centres on improving “community happiness and wellbeing” through initiatives such as increasing the diversity of housing forms and tenure types year over year; achieving a net increase in new parks, trails, and gathering spaces by September 2026; and increasing the equity and accessibility of the community’s active transportation network and transit system year over year.
- “Resilient People and Relationships,” which focuses on building inclusion and belonging “with and within the community” by continuing to address calls to action in the government Truth and Reconciliation final report; co-develop a relationship agreement with the Squamish Nation by a mutually agreed deadline; implement the district’s Inclusion Strategy: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility in Action by the third quarter of 2026; and build relationships with community groups to increase community capacity and resources by September 2026.
- “Reliable Service Delivery,” which is aimed at delivering “efficient and effective municipal services” for residents and businesses by creating and implementing a 20-year financial and asset management plan by June 2025; enhancing organizational systems to improve service delivery and enhance communication and engagement with the community by September 2026; implementing an organizational development program by December 2025 to “ensure human resource capacity is aligned to delivery municipal services”; and updating and implementing the district’s master plans to reinforce business continuity and long-term infrastructure resilience by September 2026.
“Prepared for the Future,” which looks to enable a “bright and prosperous future for a resilient community” by achieving the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030; increasing economic activity in the core, and enabling emerging economic sectors per the Economic Development Sector Strategy, by September 2026; investing in hazard mitigation, infrastructure, and community resilience programming to ensure community adaptability in the face of climate change by September 2026; and creating a net increase of employment lands and spaces both on land and marine by September 20-26.
“This document represents hundreds of hours of collective work by Council and staff who have worked to distill the community’s biggest opportunities and challenges, align these with projects and initiatives already underway, and identify what other actions may be required,” Hurford continued in the release. “The plan builds on the goals of the previous strategic plan that identified key community priorities, and helps us all (Council and community) to stay focussed on the bigger picture for Squamish. We have prioritized relationships within this plan and that encompasses all relationships, whether with community groups, citizens or other levels of government. At the end of the day this plan has been created for our community’s future success and we look forward to sharing this plan with everyone.”
The community has several opportunities to provide input on the Strategic Plan, although, with its release sent out Friday afternoon, the district hasn’t given much notice in advance of the first session, slated for Saturday, June 3 at the Squamish Farmers’ Market. The next opportunity comes on Wednesday, June 14 at the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Sea to Sky Gondola, starting at 11:30 a.m. The event requires a ticket, which includes admission to the gondola, available at the Squamish Chamber site. The last session is scheduled for the Mayor’s Drop-In on Wednesday, June 21 at Municipal Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To view the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, visit squamish.ca/strategic-plan.