Eric Bonham

    ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “Creating Our Future in British Columbia / Applying What You Have Learned to the Highlands Case Study” – overview of afternoon program for “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)

    “Our original concept was to create a hypothetical case study for the purposes of the Breakout Session. Then we realized that a real-life example would be more beneficial because it would considerably help participants to wrap their minds around the issues and potential solutions. The information could be exactly the same, but there is something visual about talking about a real community. Timing is everything, and the Highlands Case Study came to our attention at the right moment. As it turned out, the scale of the Highlands Case Study provided a perfect fit with the backgrounds of our audience,” stated Wenda Mason.

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    ACHIEVING WATER BALANCE: “The District of Highlands is at a critical stage in its development and must clearly identify its future plan regarding density limits and land use planning goals,” stated Eric Bonham, Chair of the Highlands Stewardship Foundation, when he delivered a context presentation for a breakout session at the “Water OUT = Water IN” workshop that launched the Convening for Action in British Columbia initiative (April 2005)

    “The District of Highlands, located on the edge of the Western Communities in the Capital Regional District (CRD), is subject to continuing development pressures northward from Langford. However, the community has its own vision, united as it is by landscape – rocky uplands and dense coastal forests. This shared terrain has shaped a building and road pattern with a small ‘footprint” on the land, along with a unique rural lifestyle. These values are clearly identified in the Official Community Plan,” explained Eric Bonham.

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    IN MEMORIAM: “Erik Karlsen was a ‘change agent’ in every sense of the word, made his mark on so many fronts, and was respected throughout,” stated Eric Bonham, a former colleague in the BC provincial government, when he reflected on the influence and impact of Erik Karlsen in bringing people with different perspectives together to find common ground

    “Erik Karlsen reflected the very best qualities of a dedicated civil servant, committed to outcomes that served the common interests of the province, building partnerships that resulted in creative yet practical policies, and endlessly thinking ‘outside the box’ that oftentimes made his colleagues’ heads spin! Erik built many connections throughout his extraordinary career that included contacts within the three levels of government, the academic sector and community stewardship groups. His broad range of interests allowed him to move comfortably from one discipline to another,” stated Eric Bonham.

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    BOWKER CREEK FORUM: Organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan, and hosted by the Capital Regional District, the Bowker Creek Forum was a celebration of the Bowker Creek Blueprint, a provincially significant 100-year Action Plan for urban watershed restoration (February 2010)

    “So, why did we choose Bowker Creek, one might ask? The watershed is completely built out, and the creek channel is enclosed in pipes for two-thirds of its length. We thought of it as a learning opportunity. If we can do it in Bowker, we can do it in any creek in the region. There had been a lot of work done by the community to raise awareness. The biggest factor in the decision, however, was the very, very strong contingent in the community that wanted to get a better functioning creek back in their community,” stated Jody Watson.

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    STATE OF VANCOUVER ISLAND ECONOMIC SUMMIT: “Both the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) initiative and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance respect regional differences while working towards a common vision founded on the principles of respect and trust,” stated Eric Bonham when he established the context for a breakout session on ‘Water for Life and Livelihoods’ (October 2010)

    “The CAVI initiative and the VIEA entity both have a regional focus within a broader framework of Vancouver Island. Both recognize that partnerships and collaboration are fundamental to success, consisting of a coalition of equals working across jurisdictional boundaries – a coalition that consists of the public and private sectors, and the community. Both understand the need to look at Vancouver as a whole,” stated Eric Bonham.

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