CHAMPION SUPPORTER: Regional District of Nanaimo (December 2012)



About the Regional District of Nanaimo

The Regional District of Nanaimo provides regional governance and services throughout Vancouver Island’s beautiful central east coast. Communities within the regional federation include the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, and Qualicum Beach, as well as seven unincorporated Electoral Areas. Established in 1967, the RDN is British Columbia’s third most populous Regional District, of 28 throughout the province, and home to more than 140,000 people.

The RDN is governed by a 17-member Regional Board, comprised of ten directors from locally-elected municipal councils, and seven directors elected by Electoral Area residents. Board members also sit on a variety of regional select and standing committees for key services, as well as the RDN Committee of the Whole.

Leadership in Sustainability

“In recent years the RDN has been recognized for its leadership among Canadian local governments in sustainable community development, improving services and quality of life for residents, while reducing the local environmental footprint and dependence on limited resources,” reports Joe Stanhope, Chair.

“In August 2007, the RDN Board received a staff report on CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island and passed a motion to support the CAVI initiative and staff participation in CAVI activities. This support was reaffirmed over the years by successive motions,” states John Finnie, CAVI Past-Chair and the RDN’s General Manager for Regional and Community Utilities prior to his retirement in November 2012.

“In the RDN, the elected representatives are providing direction through the Regional Growth Strategy. Our actions show that the Board members believe in sustainability,” stated Joe Stanhope in September 2007 in his opening remarks when the RDN hosted its first CAVI event. “Through the Urban Containment Boundary, we have avoided urban sprawl and we are doing our best to do what is right; and that is why the RDN Board is both supporting and partnering with CAVI. As a Board, we believe it is our job to protect the quality of life values that attract people to Vancouver Island.”

RDN is a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability

“The Champion Supporter designation is the Partnership’s way of formally recognizing government and non-government organizations that provide the Partnership with ongoing financial and/or in-kind support; and also play a leadership role in the ‘convening for action’ initiative,” wrote Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership, in a letter to the Regional Board.

“We are pleased to inform the Chair and Directors that the Regional District of Nanaimo is hereby deemed to be a Champion Supporter of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.”

“The RDN’s demonstrated commitment to achieving a shared vision for water sustainability in a local government setting is vitally important to the Partnership’s capability to carry out our mission. In particular, we thank the RDN for being a champion for the CAVI initiative, and for enabling John Finnie to serve as CAVI Chair from 2006 through 2011.”

Inter-Regional Education Initiative

“In 2012, Board support for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative on Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context (IREI) enabled the Partnership to align efforts and implement the ‘proof of approach’ in collaboration with the Capital, Cowichan and Comox Valley regional districts,” continues Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

“Each region hosted a sharing and learning event. In June 2012, the RDN hosted a Water Balance Model Workshop where the Partnership unveiled the web-based Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool. The experience gained in 2012 will inform full-scale implementation on both sides of the Georgia Basin in 2013 and beyond.”

“As the implementation arm for the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives in the local government setting, the Partnership’s areas of responsibility are talent development and outreach. We are integrators. We play a bridging role between the Province, local government and community.”

“A guiding principle for the IREI is that program elements will align with local government mandates, priorities and internal work plans. Through sharing, a program goal is to leverage more with the same resources,” continues Kim Stephens.