Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

100-1019 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y9
gvha@gvha.ca | 250-383-8300

After Hours: 1-800-883-7079

Media Enquiries: Jill Sawyer
jsawyer@gvha.ca | 250-882-7360

Marina and Moorage: sgreenley@gvha.ca
250-383-8326 | 1-877-783-8300

 Full contact list

Message from the CEO

Ian RobertsonIan Robertson, Chief Executive Officer

It doesn’t seem a little over a year ago I started with Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) and the time has flown by. I knew I was joining an exciting, progressive, vibrant organization, but had no idea it would be so much fun.

My heartfelt thanks go out to Bill Wellburn, our outgoing Chair, for his terrific guidance and support. I couldn’t have taken over the reins of this surprisingly complex and diverse organization without his backing and that of the Board and my talented, professional, and exceptionally hard-working staff.

During fiscal 2015/16 we put the finishing touches to our 10-year strategic plan and developed a 3-Year Business Plan which came into effect. One of my first initiatives was to oversee an organizational assessment which resulted in some significant operational changes, including moving our offices from the top floor of 1019 Wharf Street to street level. This has made us more efficient and cost-effective, while at the same time making us more accessible to customers and stakeholders. Staff roles and responsibilities were reviewed and re-evaluated to better reflect the work required to meet our strategic objectives.

We are the busiest port of call in Canada and during the 2015/16 fiscal, saw the cruise industry begin to take us seriously and see us as an increasingly sophisticated port. One that could, in the not too distant future, become a homeport.

This perception change is due in part to the Ogden Point Master Plan (OPMP). Through open houses, community consultation, and working closely with all stakeholders, we are developing a plan that works for everyone. Over the last year we continued to lay the ground work for the development of a new cruise terminal – one that is efficient and effective in handling passengers. It will also tell the story of the Lekwungen people as it welcomes passengers, and reaches out to local residents and other visitors. It’s my long-term goal to see Ogden Point welcome residents and visitors 365 days a year, not just during cruise ship season.

Environmentally we are making great strides. During this fiscal’s cruise season the James Bay SO2 monitoring station recorded zero days where air quality exceeded Island Health's guidelines. GVHA’s leadership role in environmental initiatives has also included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation such as Pedicabs, bicycles, shuttle buses and horse drawn carriages. In terms of incentivising environmental good practice, next year GVHA will implement higher user fees for shore excursion operators using older vehicles and cancel them for those using vehicles newer than 2005.

I would particularly like to thank Paul Nursey of Tourism Victoria for all his support, collaboration and willingness to help position us as a homeport. We are primarily a people port and as such unique in Canada and now tourism and harbour operations are connected.

On a more personal note I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from the business community and the general public. I have strong familial links to Victoria and am proud to at last call it home. Now, if my wife and I could just find a house we both love in this hot real estate market, life would indeed be perfect!

Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer