CONVENING FOR ACTION ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: Fresh Water Sustainability is in Our Hands! – the theme for the Dialogue in Nanaimo (June 2010)

Leadership BC event will be the venue for provincial launch of ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’

On June 11th, Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), sponsored by BC Hydro, are hosting a “fresh, entertaining and engaging” community dialogue on Fresh Water Sustainability at the Vancouver Island University.

Context for the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’

“The key theme of the day is ‘What can we do together for Vancouver Island to become a flagship model of fresh water sustainability?’ The outcomes of the day are to identify issues, potential solutions and inspire action. A work plan will also be drafted by VIEA to carry forward new initiatives,” states Kathy Bishop, Chair of the Curriculum Team for Leadership BC Central Vancouver Island, and facilitator for the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’.

“Leadership BC was launched almost a decade ago to provide a curriculum framework and process designed to develop the leadership capabilities of citizens who care about their community. This year the Board decided to do something different and take on our own project. We chose water sustainability as our focus.”

To Learn More:

To download an overview of the program for June 11, click on Fresh Water Sustainability is in Our Hands!

Convening for Action in British Columbia

“When doing our research, we discovered the Water Bucket website. The stories about ‘convening for action’ on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in BC resonated with us, and led me to contact and start a conversation with members of the CAVI Leadership Team, in particular John Finnie, Eric Bonham and Kim Stephens. We wanted CAVI to be part of the Dialogue in Nanaimo,” states Kathy Bishop.

CAVI – Leadership in Water Sustainability

CAVI is the acronym for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. CAVI is a demonstration program at a regional scale under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. The CAVI vision is that by 2010, Vancouver Island will be well on its way to achieving water sustainabilty.

John finnie (120p)“We immediately saw the benefits of collaborating with Leadership BC Central Vancouver Island,” states John Finnie, CAVI Chair. He is General Manager, Regional and Community Utilities, with the Regional District of Nanaimo.

“The network of ‘convening for action partners’ also saw the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’ as providing a high profile opportunity to formally launch Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia.”

A Guidebook for British Columbia

“The Guidebook reference is to Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002. Looking back, we can see that the Guidebook was a catalyst for change that has resulted in British Columbia achieving international Stormwater planning: a guidebook for bc - cover (200p)recognition as a leader in implementing a green infrastructure approach to rainwater management.”

John Finnie was a member of the inter-governmental steering committee that developed the 2002 Guidebook. Also, under his guidance, the Regional District of Nanaimo developed case study precedents that are incorporated as Chapter 4 – Policies for Integration of Land Use Planning and Stormwater Management and Chapter 5 – Setting Priorities for Early Action in Part B of the 2002 Guidebook.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010

“Beyond the Guidebook 2010 describes how water sustainability can and will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices. Getting there relies on a change in mind-set,” explains John Finnie.

“A decade ago, we made a conscious decision to follow an educational rather than prescriptive path in BC. We realized that changing the way we develop land depends on establishing higher expectations and challenging practitioners to embrace shared responsibility.”

Case Study Foundation

Beyond the guidebook 2010 - cover (200p)“In Beyond the Guidebook 2010, we draw on BC case study experience to illustrate how major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government work with grass-roots visionaries in the community to create desired outcomes.”

“We believe that BC is now at a tipping point. Implementation of a new culture for urban watershed protection and restoration is within our grasp. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the story of how we got to here and where we are going next,” concludes John Finnie.

A Reader’s Perspective

“It is a great resource, well written … Down to earth, and in line with what CAVI and Action Plan speak about… The new business as usual, connecting the dots and giving useful tools and roadmaps for success. It is an easy read, and captivating with the stories, quotes and pictures,” continues Kathy Bishop.

“I also see that it is inspiring with all the VI municipalities stories for Vancouver Island to move forward with connecting the dots throughout the Island.”

“What a great foundation/springboard for the Dialogue in Nanaimo.”

A Vision for Vancouver Island

“We have to move beyond the technical and the engagement of local governments towards a universal commitment to sustainability on Vancouver Island. Taking the greater context as Vancouver Island, I believe we are now ready to take the next step towards engaging the public, business, schools and community organizations in a united front to play their respective role in sustainability initiatives based upon the fundamental requirement of water sustainability,” states Eric Bonham.

Formerly a Director in two Ministries (Environment and Municipal Affairs) and a Past-Chair of the Highlands Stewardship Foundation, Eric Bonham was a founding member of CAVI. Also, he was a member of the 2002 Guidebook steering committee.

“Why not follow the leadership of Chemainus, ’the little town that did’, and expand the vision to ‘the island that did’. I believe as citizens we have both an individual and collective role to play in responding to the question What do we want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years?

About Leadership BC Central Vancouver Island

Launched in 2002, Leadership BC is a BC Chamber of Commerce initiative to build local capacity. Nanaimo and Ladysmith were the pilot projects for this provincial initiative. The two were subsequently amalgamated to form Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island. It is supported locally by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.

The Leadership BC Program was developed at the provincial level for implementation within communities throughout BC. The provincial corporate sponsors supporting the program include Terasen Gas, BC Hydro, Government of Canada – Western Economic Diversification, and the BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue.

Preparing Community Leaders

Patrick ross (120p) - chair“Our mission is to seek out and cultivate potential and emerging leaders in the Central Vancouver Island region,” states Patrick Ross, Chair. “Since 2005, our 10-month course has graduated close to 100 local women and men.”

“The program goal is to prepare community leaders across BC to take an active role in moving their communities forward by working with them to foster a better understanding of how the issues impacting their communities are interconnected and by forging stronger relationships among community and regional leaders.”

“Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island is developed by our community for our community. The program is open to anyone who is interested in leadership and community involvement and development. Program content considers issues and community awareness; personal leadership growth; and participation in a community program.”