RDN Director Report for July

Vanessa Craig Director,

Electoral Area B Regional District of Nanaimo

Wednesday, July 31 2019

As we head into the August long weekend I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable August! We have been fortunate so far this summer to have cooler temperatures and some rain, but the forests remain dry. A reminder to all to follow the Fire Department’s rules about fires and equipment use, to avoid smoking in our forests, and to practice safe and responsible disposal of cigarette butts.

To summer visitors – in recognition of our limited water please practice water conservation during your visit. There are wonderful activities coming up in August – some examples include the Cultivate Theatre, Music & Arts Festival; the Community Hall Salmon BBQ; the Concert on the Green; tours of Gabriola sponsored by the Museum; as well as numerous markets. Check out the Events tab on hellogabriola.ca for more. Summer camps for kids? Check out gabriolarecreationsociety.org. A new service offered at Descanso Bay Regional Park is kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard rentals - descansobaypark.com.

We’re continuing to make progress on the Village Way Path. The Board recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding for Active Transportation Infrastructure (ATI) between the RDN and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. This has been a collaborative effort with other Regional Districts who are also interested in developing infrastructure in rights-of-way. The next step is completion of an ATI Planning and Approvals and Guidelines Document. Once that’s approved there will be individual agreements for each project. The Village Way Path is planned to be the first project undertaken once these agreements have been finalised.

In April I reported that the RDN was the lead applicant to the CleanBC Communities Fund for funding to build up to 10, level-2 electric vehicle charging stations. RDN staff conducted a gap analysis of the region to identify areas not currently serviced with a charging station, with the goal to encourage tourists to further explore our beautiful region. I’m pleased to report that Gabriola has been selected as a location for one of the 10 charging stations. If we receive the grant, a charging station will be installed at Descanso Bay Regional Park.

A strong focus of mine has been the importance of accessible and transparent governance. With that in mind I was pleased to support the Board in moving to webcasting RDN Board meetings. As of the July 23rd Board meeting, RDN Board meetings as well as Committee of the Whole and the Electoral Area Services Committee meetings will be webcast live. These recordings will also be available online after the meeting. For more information see: rdn.bc.ca/agendas-minutes-webcasting

Did you participate in the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection survey or are you interested in the results? At 23% of all responses received, Area B was well represented and formed the highest proportion of results for an area within the RDN. You can download the summary report of responses here: https://www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/dwwp-action-plan-update-2019

RDN staff is currently conducting a comprehensive review of bylaws for the electoral areas. The report to the Electoral Area Services Committee, expected in late 2019-early 2020, will include an analysis of bylaws and suggestions for changes, as well as suggestions for assigning penalties.

 You also might be interested to hear that a transit service expansion starting in 2020 was approved that will include bus service from downtown Nanaimo to the Nanaimo airport, as well increased service to VIU, among other changes. Initial service to the airport is proposed to be 3 days/week (Mon/Wed/Fri) every 2 hours between 8 am and 6 pm. 

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at vanessa.craig@rdn.bc.ca.

Vanessa Craig is the locally elected Director for Electoral Area B of the Regional District of Nanaimo, which includes Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy islands.