British Columbia’s Premier Gordon Campbell speaks to the "convening for action" vision for Vancouver Island
Note to Readers:
The 2010 State of the Island Economic Summit welcomed over 400 business, First Nations, Government, Youth and Education Leaders on October 25 & 26 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. One of the key highlights of the Summit was the presentation of VIEA’s Linking Island Leaders research project.
Premier Gordon Campbell delivered the keynote address and connected the dots to the collaboration theme in the report on Linking Island Leaders. At the conclusion of his address, the Premier signed the collaboration commitment (photo opposite).
Linking Island Leaders Project
“The VIEA Linking Island Leaders Project used a community based research approach to create a snapshot of Vancouver Island’s current ‘State of the Island’ economic readiness,” states Cori Lynn Germiquet, President of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.
“The Link interview team approached the project as neutral observers, there to listen, record and report out what was heard. Leaders came from a variety of sectors and many were referred from within their own communities as the people who were making things happen locally.”
“Those who were interviewed participated on the understanding that there will be concrete outcomes that will be implemented. They acknowledged that collaboration is a fundamental building block of economic prosperity.”
“Our vision is that VIEA can be the mechanism to advance and promote regionalism and will work as a systems integrator. VIEA will initiate and facilitate conversations, connections and help build capacity for collaboration.”
Vision for Regional Collaboration
Wendy Maurer, Project Manager, delivered an inspiring presentation titled What We Heard. A resident of Qualicum Beach, Wendy Maurer has been a passionate advocate for local and regional collaboration amongst organizations. She spoke about the future and implications of current decision making. Her enthusiasm is contagious.
“The Link Team has been talking to Vancouver Island leaders about collaboration. What’s working and what’s not. We have identified opportunities and created linkages.” stated Wendy Mauer.
“Attitude, trust, respect, agility and a desire for sustainable communities is the platform for building a healthy economic future for Vancouver Island. This is what we heard from leaders around Vancouver Island.”
“The Link Project Report contains a series of 6 recommendations for the VIEA Board that outline a strategy of Collaborative Regional Economic Development for Vancouver Island. The recommendations are supported by 4 strategies, containing 36 tactics and 63 actions.”
Commitment to a Collaborative Regional Strategy
“Following Wendy’s presentation, there was an immediate and long lineup to sign the declaration which supports a collaborative regional economic development strategy,” reports Cori Lynn Germiquet.
“By the time the Premier had arrived an hour later and signed the declaration over 100 people had already signed. People continued to sign throughout the day.”
“The Summit…strengthens the fact that we need to treat the Island as one region, our region is our strength. United we can make a differerence,” stated Rudi Widdershoven of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce.
To Learn More:
The Link Project collected the pieces of the puzzle that create a picture of economic development for Vancouver Island. For the complete story on the six recommendations, click on Link Project Report
To download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that was developed for meetings with regional districts, click on Imagine…Vancouver Island…One Community
Premier’s Keynote Address
“Raising our province up locally and from the community level and regional level is what is really going to be the most success for us. And as we do that, I would like to encourage all of you to think of the incredible asset that we have here on Vancouver Island. I like to call it the great, green island,” stated Premier Gordon Campbell.
We Can Create Our Future
“There is a great window that is open for us today. It’s a window that asks us to see the future that we want to create. But as every month and every year that window gets a little narrower, it is going to require all of us to think now about what we want to be.”
“We can be an example of the environment working together with the economy to strengthen and improve the quality of life of all the people who live here. We have to do some things differently.”
“We have to say to ourselves…what do you want Vancouver Island to be like in 20 years from now? What are the decisions we have to make today to make sure that we can reach that vision 20 years from now?”
Collaboration and Shared Responsibility are Essential
“Collaboration is essential. We also have to bring people together. If we find a common purpose that we are pursuing together, there really is nothing that we cannot accomplish. At the end of the day, it is up to each of us as a citizen to take responsibility for helping to shape that vision.”
“How do we that? We do it week in and week out. Reach out and find ways to accomplish things together. We can strengthen our province. We can build communities that are enjoyable and attractive. There is an opportunity for us to come together and do something that is truly exceptional.”
Have the Tenacity to Pursue the Vision
“Look long term. Think about what is best for the future. Not for you, but for those who will follow you. Think about how we can create a better environment that others can live in and benefit from.”
“We get to make our own choices. We get to make our own future. We just have to have the vision to imagine, and the tenacity to pursue it. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Those who came before us helped create the magic of Vancouver Island.”
“Today, we have the opportunity to create the magic of the future for our children and grand-children. A future with a great environment that’s clean and healthy. A future with communities that are strong and resilient in the face of change. Those dreams can be realized by working together.”
Link to YouTube Video:
To view the video clip on YouTube of Premier Campbell speaking to the vision for collaboration, click here.
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island
“A prime illustration of the collaboration that the Premier called for in his keynote address is the emerging relationship between VIEA and CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. VIEA and CAVI have come together because we share a vision for water sustainability,” states Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan and a member of the CAVI Leadership Team.
“VIEA’s commitment to water sustainability sends a strong message that water sustainability is important. The VIEA commitment enabled CAVI to partner with the Leadership Society of Vancouver Island to co-organize the ‘Water for Life and Livelihoods’ breakout session at the Summit. This is a first step down a pathway of collaboration.”
A Vision and a Task
“CAVI’s participation at the VIEA Summit was both timely and rewarding in that a promising partnership was formed with Vancouver Island Economic Alliance,” adds Eric Bonham, a founding member of CAVI and Past-Chair of the Highlands Stewardship Foundation. Eric Bonham was formerly a Director in two provincial Ministries.
Eric Bonham delivered the ‘call to action’ in the water sustainability breakout session. His presentation was titled Mission Possible: A 50-Year Vision for Vancouver Island.
“This partnership with VIEA provides an opportunity to develop an integrated approach to sustainability on Vancouver Island based upon a balanced understanding of the relationship between the economy and the environment.”
“This message was strongly reinforced by Premier Campbell during lunch when he observed the power of partnerships aligned with a collaborative long term vision,…’there is an opportunity for us to come together to do something exceptional for Vancouver Island’ said the Premier, noting the need for ‘the vision to imagine and the tenacity to pursue it’,” concludes Eric Bonham.
Living Water Smart & Water Charter
“It is important to recognize that Premier Campbell has demonstrated that he is a ‘water champion’. His vision and passion for water made possible Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan,” continues Kim Stephens.
“Also, Premier Campbell was the catalyst for action that resulted in the Council of Federation Water Charter this past August. Signed by all the Premiers, the Charter has 8 commitments that are meant to inspire collective action on water across the country.”
“Like VIEA’s Link Project, BC’s Living Water Smart and the Water Charter also underscore the importance of collaboration to achieve success. In addition, our CAVI experience over the past four years can inform Link Project implementation. There is a lot of synergy now in play.”
“Think of CAVI as a pilot for the Link Project. For the past four years, we have been demonstrating how to bring people together in the local government setting. We call this the ‘regional team approach’. We also have web-based tools that support collaboration, notably the Water Balance Model and Water Bucket Website. Alignment with VIEA now provides the opportunity to expand the network and build a coalition.”
Water Balance Model & Water Bucket Website
“The Water Balance Model is an example of a planning and engineering tool that can help communities reduce their ‘water footprint’. Winner of a Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in 2009, the Water Balance Model is a unique tool. It was developed in BC through an inter-governmental partnership, supports Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative, and has gone national through an inter-provincial partnership,”explains Kim Stephens.
“The Water Bucket Website was also developed through partnerships. It too supports implementation of Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. The Water Bucket Website and Water Balance Model are the twin engines driving an on-the-ground outreach and continuing education program. This program is being delivered through the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, yet another example of partnerships and collaboration in action.”
A Look Ahead to World Water Day 2011
“The word is that the Premiers plan to make World Water Day 2011 on March 22nd a national event with a visible and coordinated focus on the Charter’s priorities. This could be a great opportunity to showcase the Regional Team Approach championed by CAVI, and highlight how this kind of collaborative approach might be helpful in other parts of BC and our country.”
To Learn More:
Click on Water Sustainability Action Plan evolves into a comprehensive program for ‘Convening for Action’ — Inter-connected program elements give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources.
Click on “Design with Nature” philosophy guides Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia — The ‘design with nature’ paradigm is borrowed from the seminal book by Ian McHarg because it captures the essence of climate change adaptation. Adaptation is about responding to the changes that will inevitably occur. Adaptation is at the community level and is therefore about collaboration.