“The New Business As Usual” – the new social norm on Vancouver Island for managing rainwater runoff

Note to Reader:

The precedent-setting Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series was part of the implementation program for  Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As UsualThis provincial initiative built on the foundation provided by Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbiapublished in 2002. In 2008, participating Vancouver Island local governments represented some 250,000 people.

Seminar 2 included a town hall segment. At the conclusion of the town hall discussion, Margaret (Maggie) Henigman of the Ministry of Environment’s Nanaimo regional office shared her reflections after listening to participants elaborate on what they have done or what they want to do.

The New Business As Usual

“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,” stated Margaret Henigman.

“As I reflect on the current situation, it strikes me that we have created a new social norm; and  it is being accepted by the development community as a whole. 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 along.”

Seminar 2 Program

The Learning Lunch Seminar Series was the first step in building a regional team approach so that there would be a common understanding and consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure. The focus at  Seminar 2 of was on policy and legal strategies to create liveable communities and protect stream health.