"Stay the course and keep up the conversations," says CAVI Chair John Finnie



Note to Reader:

On May 19, the Town of Comox hosted the second in the 2011 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series. In the article below, John Finnie reflects on what he heard during that seminar.

The Seminar #2 spotlight was on urban watershed protection and restoration issues, with emphasis on a ‘design with nature’ approach to climate change adaptation. A desired outcome was that participants would understand how a ‘design with nature’ approach to implementation of green infrastructure integrates rainwater management and drought management.

John Finnie is General Manager of Regional and Community Infrastructure with the Regional District of Nanaimo. He is also Chair of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, known by the acronym CAVI.


What Did We Hear? 

“Seminar #2 in the 2011 Comox Valley Series was a good session.  Some learning opportunities, some excellent conversations, some networking, a bit of forming-storming-norming and a good lunch!,” states John Finnie.


Design With Nature

John finnie (120p)“One of the issues with moving the development community and the approval authorities forward with Designing (and building) with Nature, is getting people on board to understand that there is a new way of doing business available to them, that is better, more attractive, marginally more or usually less expensive, and provides for a better long term investment than what they have been doing in the past.” 

“I sensed some frustration at Seminar #2 in enabling this to happen.  Legislated or prescriptive mechanisms are one way to get people in the line but as was identified at the session, for what we are trying to do, one size does not fit all.”


Instil a Stewardship Ethic

“So, one of the other ways is to provide leadership, education, coordination, participation, etc., to familiarize people with what can be done on the ground and eventually win them over with a new way of thinking.  Comox Valley is heading in the right direction here, but there is a price for admission – patience.”

“Ten years ago there was little of this type of thinking taking place.  When CAVI formally got off the ground in 2007, we established a mission that by 2010 Vancouver Island would be on its way to water sustainability.  We are on the way now but we still have a way to go.”


Stay the Course

“We are trying to change a way of thinking, building, developing that has been taking place for over 100 years – we won’t turn it completely around in only a few years.  But we are starting to make a difference.  Water-centric thinking is beginning to take hold and it will grow more quickly with time, eventually becoming the norm.”

“So we need to stay the course and keep up the conversations.  The word is getting out,” concludes John Finnie.

Posted May 2011