5-YEAR FLASHBACK TO 2011: Vision for implementing Sustainable Service Delivery in the Comox Valley introduced at "CAVI Forum within Vancouver Island Summit"
Note to Reader:
The term Sustainable Service Delivery was coined in 2010. It was introduced by the Province to integrate financial accountability, infrastructure sustainability and service delivery. The Worth Every Penny Workshop hosted by the Regional District of Nanaimo in September 2010 initiated the branding of the concept.
Solution to the Infrastructure Liability Challenge
Each year in October, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance hosts the State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo. From 2010 through 2013, this annual event included a CAVI Forum within the Summit. This series of events provided a high profile platform for showcasing Comox Valley experience and the evolution of the ‘regional team approach’ up and down the east coast of Vancouver Island.
At the 2011 Summit, for example, the Forum program was built around the “infrastructure liability” theme and Comox Valley experience. The Comox Valley team told their story with the objective of starting a dialogue on Vancouver Island about Sustainable Service Delivery as a solution to the infrastructure liability challenge. The Comox Valley regional team approach was showcased because it is relevant to all local governments, and is replicable.
The 2011 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, hosted by the Town of Comox in the first half of the year, served as the springboard to the 2011 Summit. At the first seminar, the Province introduced the Vancouver Island audience to new expectations for Sustainable Service Delivery.
Sustainable Service Delivery explained
Sustainable Service Delivery is the Province’s branding for a comprehensive approach to infrastructure asset management. This approach goes beyond an accountant’s life-cycle analysis. The paradigm-shift starts with land use planning and determining what services can be provided sustainably, both fiscally and ecologically.
A primary driver for doing business differently is the unfunded infrastructure liability. This refers to the financial challenge currently facing all local governments. The challenge is sometimes referred to as ‘the 20/80 rule’ because the initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure only represents about 20% of the ultimate life-cycle cost. Paying for the other 80% is at the heart of the public infrastructure dilemma. Each year the funding shortfall grows.
In December 2014, the Union of BC Municipalities and Asset Management BC jointly released Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework. The BC Framework is a game-changer because it is strategically aligned with asset management requirements under senior government funding programs, in particular the Gas Tax Program. The BC Framework also points the way to integration of natural systems thinking and climate change thinking into asset management.
To Learn More:
The story of the Comox Valley Regional Team was the featured article in the Summer 2011 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter: Comox Valley Local Governments Showcase A Regional Response to Infrastructure Liability
A set of stories about the 2011 CAVI Forum within the State of the Island Economic Summit are posted on the waterbucket.ca website
2011 Comox Valley Seminar Series is Springboard to Vancouver Island Economic Summit in October is a report-style PDF document that elaborates on the genesis of CAVI-VIEA collaboration, and provides an overview of the Comox Valley ‘regional team approach’ that was showcased at the 2011 Summit.
Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: Supporting the Vision for Integration of Natural Systems Thinking into “The BC Framework” explains how local governments are challenged with the question of how best to move forward with asset management and protection of watershed health in light of two considerations: a changing climate; and community expectations to provide higher levels-of-service at reduced levels-of-cost.