Creating Liveable Communities and Protecting Stream Health: Helping goals become practice in BC
Doing Business Differently in BC
The Province is leveraging its grants programs to influence changes on the ground. British Columbia is in transtion. Today, assessment criteria are based on a philosophy of “the greener the better”. Tomorrow, all projects must meet a green standard. The Province’s position is clear: Adapting to climate change and reducing our collective impact on the environment will be a condition for receiving provincial infrastructure funding.
At the first in the 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, hosted by the City of Courtenay and held in September 2008, Catriona Weidman of the Ministry of Community Development elaborated on the Province’s guiding philosophy for doing business differently. Catriona’s presentation was organized under three topic headings:
- Changing the Rules for Greener Communities;
- Living Water Smart; and
- Funding for Green Infrastructure.
The slide presentation by Catriona Weidman can be viewed by clicking on Creating Liveable Communities & Protecting Stream Health: Helping goals become practice.
Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar #1
Seminar #1 was introductory in scope, with the unifying theme being the evolution of drainage practices over the past two decades. For the complete story about the September 2008 seminar, click on Create Liveable Communities & Protect Stream Health: To get to the big picture, it starts with the smallest pieces.
Links to YouTube Videos
To both provide a record of the day and capture the flavour of presentations at Seminar #1, video clips have been uploaded to YouTube. The video of the presentation by Catriona Weidman has been divided into two segments – the first is 5 minutes and covers Changing the Rules and Living Water Smart; the second is 8 minutes in length and deals with funding. To hear and learn more, click on the small images below to access the YouTube videos.
Changing the Rules
From Goals to Practice: “We all work with rules …. what we really want to do is change some of the rules … to create the kind of communities that we desire,” stated Catriona. “We are using infrastructure funding to … encourage the right type of projects.”
Green Communities Amendments: The Province has enacted legislation (Bill 27) that will help municipalities and regional districts create more compact, sustainable and greener communities. The legislation came into force in June 2008. Now local governments are required to include greenhouse gas emission targets, policies and actions in their Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies. According to Smart Growth BC: “This Bill is an excellent step towards climate protection, and many of the tools will assist local governments in addressing energy and greenhouse gas emissions.”
Funding for Green Infrastructure
Leveraging Change: “There are three types of funding: planning, construction and recognition,” explained Catriona. The purpose of the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program, for example, is to assist local governments in developing sustainable infrastructure.
Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards: Catriona outlined a number of ideas that would be received favourably by the Ministry under the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program. These include stream health feasibility studies and watershed plans. “As we move forward, projects will only be eligible where they are green and sustainable,” emphasized Catriona when she explained how grant programs will leverage change through eligibility and assessment criteria.
About the Learning Lunch Series
The precedent-setting Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series is part of the implementation program for Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual, This provincial initiative builds on the foundation provided by Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002. In 2008, participating Vancouver Island local governments represented some 250,000 people.
- The Cowichan Valley series was hosted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and comprised a set of three sessions during the June – July 2008 period. To learn more, click on List of Water Bucket Stories About Cowichan Valley Series.
- The Comox Valley series was hosted by the City of Courtenay and comprised a set of three sessions during the September – November 2008 period. To learn more, click on List of Water Bucket Stories About Comox Valley Series.
The Learning Lunch Seminar Series promotes a consistent provincial approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure. It also adds depth to Living Water Smart, the Province’s plan for doing business differently….by encouraging water and land managers and users to make green choices that create liveable communities and protect stream health.
Who is CAVI?
The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Development, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here
Posted January 2009