New Directors appointed to CREST, a new chapter for the region’s public safety telecommunications organization, new five-year strategic plan, and more…
CREST (Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications Inc.), held its 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in review of 2020 at their recent May Board of Directors meeting at which CREST tabled its 2020 Annual Report accompanied by a clean Auditor’s Report undertaken by KPMG. The 2020 Annual Report acknowledged the challenges of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic for staff and for the region’s first responders and public service agencies on the CREST network. Directors credited high levels of cooperation and professionalism as contributing factors to the successful completion of the region-wide technology and infrastructure upgrade to a new digital public safety network that has been phased in over a four-year period and delivered on budget. CREST Directors also recognized CREST’s longest serving Director, Colwood Councillor Gordie Logan, who stepped aside at the end of 2020 after 19 years of service. For the past 12 years, Councillor Logan served as Chair of the Board of Directors. Esquimalt Councillor, Tim Morrison was elected to the Chair’s position in January.
New Directors include: Brad Cameron, BC Emergency Health Services; Charles Nash, Salt Spring Electoral Area; Councillor Dean Jantzen, City of Colwood; Councillor Sharmarke Dubow, City of Victoria; Brian Sims, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; and Superintendent Mac Richards, RCMP. A complete list of the twenty Directors elected for 2021 and their biographies can be found here:
Looking ahead, guided by a new five-year Strategic Plan, CREST Directors are committed to working with management to ensure that the organization continues to provide consistent, reliable public safety communications for its user agencies throughout the Capital Region:
One of the first initiatives that CREST is exploring is the need to further protect its technology and infrastructure by re-locating its operations to a post seismic building. At this month’s Board meeting, the Board of Directors voted to approve a special Task Force to commence this work and report back to the Board with recommendations of viable land assembly and partnership options that included the possibility to seismically upgrade their existing space
CREST commissioned Stantec to undertake a third-party review in 2019 which identified the failure risks associated with the existing operations centre (owned by CREST) and leased warehouse space. The Stantec report will help inform the work of the Task Force as it also identified criteria for a new facility.
Chair of the Board, Tim Morrison, Township of Esquimalt: “CREST’s strategic priorities for the next five years are focused on ensuring the optimal performance of CREST’s new digital network and our continued fiscal sustainability. As CREST moves forward, we say farewell to CREST’s longest serving Director, our friend and colleague, Gordie Logan. Gordie has been steadfastly committed to CREST from its inception in 2001 and as Chair, his leadership helped guide CREST through the growing pains of a start-up organization to where CREST is today, an effective, highly-efficient, professional organization serving the needs of our region’s first responders and public service agencies 24/7 with a world-class digital telecommunications network. As we embark upon the next chapter in the evolution of CREST, we do so on a solid foundation with a strong team of Directors and staff dedicated to the safety of everyone within our region.”
On behalf of its shareholders, CREST provides and maintains emergency communications equipment and infrastructure for more than 50 first responder and public service agencies throughout the Capital Region. In late 2020 CREST completed a four-year, $24.5M technology upgrade migrating the region to a new digital network that is considered a world standard in public safety communication.
CREST is incorporated under the BC Business Corporations Act and regulated by the Emergency Communications Corporations Act. It is a private emergency communications not-for-profit corporation owned by its shareholders and governed by a Board of Directors.
A 20-member Board of Directors, nominated by CREST shareholders, is responsible for strategic direction, finances, governance and operating results. User committees ensure that CREST meets its clients’ needs. A General Manager heads the organization’s management team and is accountable to the Board for the operations of the Corporation.
CREST is funded through user fees paid by the agencies using the system. Their fees are based on the geographic size of the area they serve, its population, the number of radios required, and radio traffic. In addition, the Capital Regional District contracts with CREST to provide an emergency communications system for the region.
This collaborative shareholder model ensures that each shareholder has an equitable voice in public safety decision making. The creation of CREST responds to our unique island location and the new digital P25 network strengthens the Capital Region’s ability to be self-reliant in the event of a natural disaster.