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Contextual Resources

THE NATURAL ASSET SOLUTION: “Innovation in asset management is most likely to occur when the focus is on the end goal of Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Gracelyn Shannon, Manager of Asset Management and Strategic Initiatives with the qathet Regional District, in an article written for the Winter 2021 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter


“qathet Regional District, in collaboration with the City of Powell River, has undertaken a capital project which uses forested Natural Assets to support stormwater management services. Rather than fixating on the details of the original proposed engineered design, the project team was able to step back and recognize the opportunity to use a Natural Asset solution which saves forest and taxpayer money. The project advances the natural asset management maturity of qathet Regional District,” stated Gracelyn Shannon.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “By taking the long-term view we strive to address the renewal, maintenance and replacement needs of our assets while maintaining affordability and reliability for future generations,” stated Andy Wardell, Co-Chair of the Asset Management BC Community-of-Practice, in the Winter 2021 Newsletter


“Financial health and providing for a long-term sustainable future are top priorities for local governments. This paper profiles two key financial indicators that are integral to how the District of North Vancouver measures service, financial and asset sustainability. As municipalities and their assets are the foundation on which our community standards of living are built, planning and reporting on key financial sustainability indicators is critical to our municipality’s long-term financial health,” stated Andy Wardell.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We need a new way forward and a healthier narrative. We have been so focused on the right information that we are not cultivating the right conditions,” stated Christina Benty, former Mayor of the Town of Golden, in an article written for the Winter 2021 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter


“We must create environments where the brain can make rational, logical, evidence-based decisions. Here is what I believe to be true. Investing in psychological safety will do more for asset management than any data, software, policy, plan or roadmap. This is no longer an ideological argument; this is an economic one. Psychological safety as a shared belief that the environment is conducive to interpersonal risks,” stated Christina Benty.

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: “We really have to look at how we develop land. Ultimately this requires leadership and champions on the ground. The message is that the provincial government is rewarding good behaviour,” stated Glen Brown at the 2nd in the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series on creating liveable communities and protecting stream health


An over-arching goal of Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan is to encourage land and water managers and users to do business differently. “Living Water Smart is a provincial strategy; we must look at it as a shared responsibility. It is not one strategy; the Province has a number of strategies. The Province is looking at raising the bar as far as what we are trying to accomplish with standards and provincial legislation,” stated Glen Brown.

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NATURE’S ASSETS SUPPORT CORE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES: “Emanuel Machado and Tim Pringle are agents of transformation. They independently ventured into uncharted territory to build the financial case for inclusion of ecological systems in local government asset management strategies,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“In the Watershed Moments video, Tim Pringle and Emanuel Machado illustrate how to take into account the social, ecological and financial values of ecological assets,” stated Kim Stephens. “They took an abstract concept – nature’s assets support local government services – and they made it tangible so that it is implementable. Their pioneer efforts in leading parallel initiatives have established provincially relevant case study precedents. Replicable precedents are already influencing how local governments view the social, ecological and financial values of streams and riparian corridors.”

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “The title of the BC Framework is deliberate and important. The ‘function’ and responsibility of Municipal Councils and Regional Boards of Directors is Sustainable Service Delivery. The process to support decision making is Asset Management,” stated Glen Brown, Chair of the Asset Management BC Partnership Committee


“The core document for asset management for BC local governments is ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’. It provides the basis for the entire asset management process for our local governments to follow. Basically, well-maintained infrastructure/assets are worthless IF they do not provide a service. For any asset management approach to be successful, it must not focus on the infrastructure/asset by itself. That way-of-thinking applies to nature and the environment as well,” stated Glen Brown.

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BRITISH COLUMBIA’S INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT CONDITIONS HAVE MADE THE RULES SERVE THE GOALS: At the inaugural Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, Catriona Weidman foreshadowed that “adapting to climate change and reducing the impact on the environment will be conditions of receiving provincial infrastructure funding” (September 2008)


“We all work with rules. We don’t want to argue about the rules. What we really want to do is change some of the rules to create the greener, more sustainable communities that people would like. The provincial government is using infrastructure funding to encourage a ‘new business as usual’ – one results in the right type of projects – rather than taking a stick approach. The Province is leveraging its grants programs to influence changes on the ground. British Columbia is in transition,” stated Catriona Weidman when she foreshadowed how expectations would become standards for greener communities.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Our unique training program will help local governments take it to the next level,” stated Wally Wells, Executive Director of Asset Management BC, when he announced a FREE training program for local governments and First Nations (September 2020)


While BC’s local governments have made great strides in managing their assets for sustainable service delivery, there’s still a lot to be done. Moving beyond inventories and condition assessments takes time, resources, and planning. “We’ve heard from local governments and First Nations at our conferences and workshops there are still a number of barriers to fully implementing asset management as a way of doing business,” said AM BC Executive Director Wally Wells. “That’s why we’ve developed this program to provide a few different ways to help people advance their asset management practices.”

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “If Courtenay’s experience along this path is any indication, the < 4C’s: Collaboration, Capacity, Culture, and Council > can provide local governments with the foundation to achieve Sustainable Service Delivery,” wrote David Allen, City of Courtenay CAO (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Fall 2020)


“After becoming CAO of Courtenay, BC in 2013, we began exploring how to implement an AM Program at the City. Collaborating with external agencies opened our minds to thinking of AM practices in far broader terms, so that they might be applied in any community, regardless of size. We didn’t realize it, at the time, but it led to us eventually conclude that operationalizing AM would involve four separate, interconnected initiatives that would be the pathway for our journey toward Sustainable Service Delivery: The 4C’s,” wrote David Allen.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT, SERVICE DELIVERY, AND THE COVID-19 VIRUS: “The job of your Mayor and Council is to provide stewardship and governance over the organization that runs your community and provides you with safe, sustainable, secure services in a predictable, cost-effective manner NO MATTER WHAT SITUATION, CHALLENGE, OR GLOBAL CRISIS ARISES,” wrote Christina Benty, former Mayor of the Town of Golden (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2020)


“You trust that you will get clean, clear, safe water seven days a week, that every time you flush your toilet it has a place to go, that your garbage and recycling are picked up in a consistent manner, and that the arena roof is not going to collapse. Your local government team has to deliver on that trust. That’s their job and their only job. Do not urge your Mayor or Council to waste their limited resources writing yet another letter or passing a benign resolution on content outside of their control,” wrote Christina Benty.

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