2019 REPORT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPOSIA SERIES: “Expectations were high as we approached Parksville 2019.  But they were clearly met as evidenced by the comments, reviews and survey results received,” stated John Finnie


Reproduced below from the 2019 Annual Report is the Report from the Chair (John Finnie),Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Annual Symposium Series. To download a copy of the 2019 Annual Report, click here.

A civil and environmental engineer, John Finnie has over 40 years of water, wastewater and solid waste regulatory and utility management experience with the BC Ministry of Environment and the Regional District of Nanaimo. John received the first BCWWA Leadership in Water Sustainability Award for his accomplishments, in particular for his work in championing the Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water & Watershed Protection initiative.

He was a member of the Project Steering Committee for the guidance document Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002.

Convening for Action in the Comox Valley in April 2020

Congratulations and thank you to the superb team that made the Parksville 2019 Water Symposium such a success story. To reiterate what I said at the conclusion of the event:

Parksville 2019 demonstrated that a group of some 200 biologists, planners, engineers, streamkeepers, politicians, administrators, students, volunteers, and others, all with different backgrounds, expertise and responsibilities, can share a common learning experience and agree on strategies for water and land stewardship, and stream restoration.  It was indeed a magical experience.

This holds true.  Expectations were high as we approached Parksville 2019.  But they were clearly met as evidenced by the comments, reviews and survey results received.  Parksville 2019 was informative, educational and inspiring, and most participants left keen to attend the next in the series:  Comox Valley 2020 on Climate Change, Collaboration and Restorative Landscapes.  This title reflects more than just current buzz words.  It is what we must consider and do to diverge from the worrisome path we are on.

Three days of presentations, interactive workshops, and educational field sessions at Parkville 2019, led by experts from Canada and the US, gave delegates a great deal of food-for-thought and ideas for action that will help us do better.  That is our mantra:  Do, Learn, Adapt and Do Better.  The Annual Vancouver Island Water Symposium series helps us accomplish this.

Organizing these events is a big job.  I am pleased that my co-chair these past two years – Paul Chapman, Executive Director of the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) – has stepped up to take over as chair of the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate.  Let us show Paul and the Committee our support for next year.  Attend, participate, discuss, critique, do.