RDN Director's Report for March

Vanessa Craig Director, Electoral Area B

Regional District of Nanaimo

Wednesday, April 3 2019

We want to hear from you! The RDN Board has launched several public engagement initiatives, most recently our draft Strategic Plan and an update of the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection (DWWP) Action Plan. Additional projects include the Nanaimo Airport planning bylaw update, and a Regional Growth Strategy review, among others. Find links to these and other documents and opportunities to provide input at https://www.rdn.bc.ca/get-involved-rdn.

The draft Strategic Plan (RDN Talks: Priorities on the above website) identifies 8 focus areas for the Board: climate change, environmental stewardship, housing, growth management, transportation and transit, economic coordination, people and partnerships, and social well-being. Under each focal area we identify several actions – each of which will require several steps. The timelines identified will give us momentum on some very important issues. What do you think of these priorities? Are there actions we’ve missed? Please provide feedback on the page above, or directly to me.

The DWWP Action Plan is undergoing a 10-year refresh. After a review of the plan and associated activities, we’re setting the priorities for the next 10 years. I am pleased to have been appointed to the Steering Committee. The website above links to the documents and a survey about your thoughts on watershed protection – if you answer the survey you have a chance to win a rain barrell! I know islanders are extremely interested in water – I’d love to see great participation by Area B in the survey!

Here are a few additional recent initiatives the Board/staff has undertaken:

- we continue to discuss the opportunity to develop non-vehicular use in a road right-of-way with MOTI;

- an asset management review and implementation staff report was brought forward at the March 12th Committee of the Whole meeting (all reports are available on the RDN website). This thorough report allows better management of our built assets, and it’s worth a read. We’ve also discussed the idea of doing a natural assets review (eg parks) as well;

- The RDN was recently the lead applicant to the CleanBC Communities Fund along with surrounding municipalities. If received, the grant will allow the RDN to build up to 10, level-2 electric vehicle charging stations. I’ve got my hand up for a Gabriola station.

- review of funding options for regional and community parks initiatives (eg Development Cost Charges) – next step: staff report;

- review existing bylaws in each electoral area, recommend ways to address gaps, and identify cost-recovery options – next step: staff report;

- review the cost of webcasting Board/committee meetings – next step: staff report;

Upcoming (all open to the public): April 6, 10-2 pm at the North Fire Hall: Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department Open House – RDN staff and I will be there to promote emergency preparedness

April 9, 1:30-5 pm at the RDN Building: Electoral Area Services committee and Committee of the Whole

April 23, 7pm-11 pm at the RDN building: Board meeting

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.