RDN Report for May

Vanessa Craig, Director, Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy islands)

Regional District of Nanaimo

Wednesday, May 20 2020

As the province gradually relaxes some restrictions on gatherings and allows businesses to reopen, let’s all remember to continue to maintain physical distancing, to support local businesses as much as possible, and to be kind!

Derek Kilbourn photo

You’ll have noticed that the RDN has re-opened the tennis and sport courts at Huxley Park as well as the day use area at Descanso Bay (the campground and playgrounds remain closed at this time). Please follow the guidelines for use as spaces are re-opened. 

I reported earlier my intent to make a Motion at the last Board meeting to temporarily prohibit homeless camping in the 707 Community Park until the park was assessed as to park condition and fire risk, and a mitigation plan developed and implemented if recommended during the assessment. Fire Chief Will Sprogis provided a video delegation to support the request. I’m pleased to report that the Board supported my Motion. 

I’m not sure of a timeline for the assessment because RDN staff are busy with COVID response as well as ongoing projects, but I will provide updates as they become available. 

On May 1st a metal ramp was installed at Spring Beach to maintain beach access in this site with significant geotechnical and archaeological considerations. Once installed it became apparent that the bottom section was very steep; the access has now been temporarily closed until the site can be re-evaluated. 

The Village Way Project is still on track to begin in 2020. The construction drawings have been finalized and shared with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) representatives. The RDN is finalizing a 20-year License of Occupation with MoTI, and a staff report on the license is expected at the June Electoral Area Services Committee meeting. RDN Parks staff are currently developing a maintenance plan for the path and have reached out to the landowners along the proposed path to inform them of the proposed changes to their driveway accesses. Currently the project is expected to be paid for by Electoral Area B’s Community Works Funds (also known as Gas Tax Funds), pending approval from the Union of BC Municipalities. 

I’ve been very pleased to participate on our local Emergency Response and Recovery Committee for Gabriola, Mudge, and DeCourcy Islands, and many of its subcommittees. I would like to thank and acknowledge the significant contributions and leadership shown by the many community representatives from the islands – including the Health and Wellness Collaborative, first responder representatives, emergency support services, social services representatives, all of our Gabriola Trustees from the Islands Trust, and local business representative. As we continue to plan for this pandemic and now enter into the recovery phase, communication between all of these groups is important and also informs our more general emergency response. Have you ever wondered how communications will occur in an emergency? The RDN’s Connect Rocket program will send notifications via text and voice call about incidents that might impact you. I encourage everyone to sign up https://rdnemergency.connectrocket.com/ 

Upcoming:

The next Board meetings occur on May 26th, June 23rd, and July 28th. Electoral Area Service Committee and the Committee of the Whole meetings are upcoming on June 9th and July 14th. Agendas are typically posted online by the Friday prior to the meeting. At this time all meetings are held via Zoom meetings and are available for online viewing.

The next Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) is in the planning phase – the tentative plan is it will be held on June 22nd via Zoom meeting with a 10 am start. Correspondence received for the POSAC re Area B community parks prior to June 17th will be added to the agenda.

At this time I won’t be holding in-person office hours or meetings. However, you can reach me by email at vanessa.craig@rdn.bc.ca (preferred) or contact me via my Facebook page or my website, or via cell at 250-741-4589.