“Now that the new Societies Act (2016) has provided the Partnership with clarity regarding our identify, it allows the Board of Directors to focus on the Partnership mission,” stated Derek Richmond, Partnership Secretary
“The Partnership’s Constitution is now aligned with the new Societies Act. 2018 was our first full year operating under the new act,” stated Derek Richmond. “Changes in municipal staffing and recent municipal elections have enabled us to renew and strengthen old relationships and also develop new relationships. This re-enforces the importance of collaboration between all parties and the opportunity to review and embrace the foundation of our past success through collaboration, cooperation and coordination.”
“The Partnership for Water Sustainability plays a bridging role between Province, local government and community. Because the Partnership is the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network, we are positioned to facilitate alignment of regional and local actions with provincial goals. By providing education, research, technical training and tools, we can help communities move from awareness to action. The vision of the Partnership is that water sustainability will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” stated Tim Pringle.
Eric’s engineering career, over 5 decades, has included involvement on a diverse range of water related projects. He is a former Director in both the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Municipal Affairs where he was responsible for floodplain management and infrastructure programs, respectively. Eric was tasked with implementing the provincial Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP) in 1989, involving the development of partnerships with local governments, federal fisheries and community stewards.
COVID has changed and challenged how we do outreach and peer-based education. In the age of COVID, how does one inspire an audience over a computer? Addressing this existential challenge was the starting point for re-imagining the third in the Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Symposia Series as a virtual event. David Mackenzie stepped up and opened minds as to what could be. This is the moment, he said, to leverage technology and reach far beyond those in the symposium room. Be bold, he urged.
“Directors are the only formal ‘members’ and are the only ones to have voting rights,” stated Ted van der Gulik, President and Board Chair, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia
“In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia. It provided clarity regarding types of societies. This clarity helped the Partnership define its identity. The Partnership is not, and cannot be, a member-funded society. The reason is that The Partnership is funded mostly by government and provides services to government. The Directors are empowered to create non-voting categories of membership and to date have created four categories,” stated Ted van der Gulik.
“The Lifetime Members category recognizes the contributions of key individuals who have played a pivotal role in the genesis and/or evolution of the Partnership. The Directors created the Lifetime Membership category to achieve two outcomes. First, we believe this is a material way to recognize the valued contributions of those who have been involved in developing and/or delivering program elements. Secondly, this provides those key individuals with formal standing in their retirement so that they can continue to identify with the Partnership,” stated Tim Pringle.
Ray Fung had a longstanding role in local government. Prior to retirement, he was the Director of Engineering & Transportation with the District of West Vancouver, a position he held for 12 years. Ray is a founding member of The Partnership. He previously chaired two of the Partnership’s original incarnations, namely: the Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA (2003-2008) and the BC Green Infrastructure Partnership (2008-2011).
Emanuel Machado is the Chief Resiliency Officer of the Town of Gibsons, BC and the Chair of the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative. He led the development of the Town’s Eco-Assets Strategy, a first in North America to formally recognize the role of nature as a fundamental component of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to a greater understanding of the value of ecosystems services and improved financial and operational management plans of the community’s natural assets.
The story of how David Mackenzie became involved in the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate shows what is possible for a concerned citizen who wishes to make a difference. In 2018, he went to the first symposium looking for leadership. He found it. He was energized by the experience. Afterwards, he volunteered to provide videography oversight for subsequent symposia. Beginning with his video work for Parksville 2019, he became a valued member of the team.
“In 2018, the Partnership redefined the role of membership in our society. This change was a result of legislated changes to the BC Societies Act. As we move forward into the next decade, our leadership team will continue to strengthen our partnerships with “not for profit” organizations to achieve two objectives – assist us in our mission; and benefit from our tools and expertise. In particular, we see the stewardship sector of BC – whose members work to monitor, protect and restore natural aquatic ecosystems – as an important partner,” stated Peter Law.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR WATER SUSTAINABILITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Titled “Celebration of Our Story: Genesis / First Decade / What Next,” this legacy document was published in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Partnership incorporation (November 19, 2020)
“The Partnership is the evolution of many initiatives around water sustainability in BC. The Partnership does its work under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. This has led to growing collaboration regarding the role of water sustainability in shaping our communities. Water sustainability is a metaphor for managing the built environment sustainably. Incorporating the Partnership as a legal entity is a natural outcome. This demonstrated record of collaboration is our strength going forward,” stated Tim Pringle.
PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES 10-YR ANNIVERSARY: “We live and breathe collaboration. This plays out in everything that the Partnership does. Building trust and respect starts with a conversation. Listen, listen, listen. Conversations lead to dialogue. In turn, dialogue leads to consensus,” wrote Kim Stephens, Executive Director (November 2020)
“Our partnerships & collaboration journey actually commenced some two decades before incorporation of the Partnership as a legal entity in November 2010. A group of like-minded and passionate individuals, including representatives of three levels of government, came together as a committee and created a ‘water roundtable’ that evolved over time into The Partnership. And what was the mission of this water roundtable? Champion a water-centric approach to use and conservation of land. Develop tools, resources and programs to support water-centric planning,” stated Kim Stephens.