Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in February 2002, and began operating its four port facilities, divested from Transport Canada, in April 2002. Acting as an advocate for the harbour, the GVHA is working to improve its function as a working harbour, and a marine transportation centre with a strong focus on tourism.
GVHA is a society registered with the Province of British Columbia and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority are governed under the Society Act of British Columbia.
GVHA's Board is comprised of Directors representing the member agencies and organizations (Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, the Victoria/Esquimalt Harbour Society, Tourism Victoria, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Regional District) and four community directors.
GVHA is passionate about the power of the harbour to act as a catalyst for Victoria to fulfill its destiny as one of the most outstanding harbours in the world. We have a responsibility to value the water connection, to make the harbour alive, accessible and dynamic!
The legal authority and overarching direction for our 10-year Strategic Plan comes from the constitution of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, established under the Society Act in 2002.
- a working Harbour where people live, learn, work, and play; a spectacular gateway into Victoria's past and into its future, with a vibrant look and feel, linking communities and all people together.
- a GVHA organization that is recognized by the community as an effective marine asset manager, and as a trusted advocate and partner, working for the common good of the Harbour and the Region.
In fulfilling our Constitution, we perform three distinct yet complementary roles:
- Owners and managers of the properties entrusted to us through divestiture or under lease;
- Advocates for best water and marine-related use and development of the whole Harbour and its assets, regardless of ownership, in accordance with our guiding principles; and
- Partners or collaborators with others in implementing Harbour initiatives that drive economic, social and environmental benefits for the Region.
GVHA’s actions and decisions will be guided by the following principles:
- First Nations Relationship - We commit to working in partnership with the Esquimalt Nation and the Songhees Nation as they pursue their cultural and economic aspirations in the Harbour.
- Triple Bottom Line - We commit to generating broad economic and social benefit from the use of our properties, while continuously mitigating adverse social and environmental impacts in local neighbourhoods and to our land, air and water.
- Financial Self-Sustainability – We commit to structuring and managing GVHA in a financially prudent manner, and to ensuring the long term sustainability of the organization and its assets without recourse to local subsidies.
- Working Harbour - We commit to promoting the Harbour as a working Harbour seeking out opportunities to help advance industrial, commercial and tourism related enterprises – “where commerce requiring the connection between the land and water takes place”.
- Accountability - We commit to act in the public interest of the Harbour on behalf of GVHA’s Member Agencies, their stakeholders and the people of the region, and to be held publicly accountable for our activities and results.