CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island

    FLASHBACK TO 2008 / CREATE LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES: “In the first year of the Living Water Smart rollout, my lead-off presentation in the inaugural Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series traced the evolution of rainwater and stormwater management policies and practices in British Columbia. This provided a frame-of-reference and a common understanding for subsequent seminars,” stated Kim Stephens, series team leader

    “In 2008, the Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series was held in both the Comox and Cowichan valleys. This program was the first step in building a regional team approach so that there would be consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure in BC. By spreading the curriculum over three sessions, this enabled participants to take in new information, reflect on it, blend it with their own experience, test it, and (we hoped) eventually apply it in making decisions,” stated Kim Stephens.

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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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    FLASHBACK TO 2008: “It strikes me that we have created a new social norm; and it is being accepted by the development community as a whole,” stated BC Environment’s Maggie Henigman during a town-hall session when she commented on changes in rainwater management practice at the second in the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series

    “Since 1996 I have been working across Vancouver Island, both reviewing development proposals and monitoring project implementation. In the last couple of years I have been really pleased to see a huge shift take place in the way projects are being done. As I reflect on the current situation, the change in attitude is really gaining momentum. Everywhere I go I am seeing evidence of the new ethic. It is not that everyone is perfect, but the change is really coming,” stated Maggie Henigman.

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    GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE CITY OF NANAIMO: The Inland Kenworth story was incorporated in the curriculum for the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series because it illustrated how a local government can establish expectations when staff say “this is what we want to achieve”

    The Inland Kenworth truck and heavy equipment facility in the City of Nanaimo illustrates what can be accomplished through collaboration when a municipality challenges a development proponent to be innovative. “As a planner, I believe we should start by looking at site constraints and opportunities. And that is where our conversations started with the developer and consultants team,” stated Gary Noble. The City viewed this project as the one that changed the thinking of the consulting community.

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    A GUIDE TO GREEN CHOICES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We are providing local government with the information to make better decisions,” stated Dr. Laura Tate, then representing the BC Ministry of Community & Rural Development, when she explained the matrix of Green Communities initiatives at the inaugural 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series

    In 2008, the Ministry of Community Development developed A Guide to Green Choices to help local governments continue the extensive work they were already doing in fostering green communities. “We have a series of initiatives within the Ministry that are integrated with other broader provincial initiatives. These are seeking to help us build green communities in our province. We all benefit from having attractive, liveable communities…with a healthy natural environment,” stated Dr. Laura Tate.

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