FLASHBACK TO 2005: "Meeting of the Minds" in Parksville – the genesis for the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative


Meeting of the Minds Workshop

The Meeting of the Minds workshop was held as a result of a Vancouver Island contact survey initiated by Eric Bonham (Ministry of Municipal Affairs) in his capacity as a Director of the BCWWA. The survey was undertaken during the period 2003-2004.

From individual interviews with leaders in the water and wastewater industry throughout the island, it was clear that there was widespread interest in holding a workshop that would provide an opportunity for the exchange of information, and to explore the possibility of establishing a communications network for the Vancouver Island Region.

Groups Represented

To ensure that a broad range of interests were represented at the workshop, invitations were sent to representatives from the provincial government, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Community Services, federal government, regional districts, municipalities, elected officials, First Nations, NGO, Coastal Water Suppliers Association, consultants, business sector, BCWWA and the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP).

In total 35 participated in the workshop at the Quality Resort Bayside in Parksville September 15 – 16, 2005.  Kerry Elfstrom, a professional facilitator, was appointed to guide the process.

Workshop Objective

TKerry-Elfstrom_2012_trimmed_120phis objective was stated at the start of the workshop, reported Kerry Elfstrom:

“Build a communications network to address the issues facing the water and wastewater industry within the Vancouver Island region”.

“The group was asked to identify what issues, problems or concerns exist currently within the Vancouver Island region,” stated Kerry Elfstrom.

“It was agreed that Vancouver Island could be the focus since it has clearly defined geographical boundaries, every element of the industry represented (suppliers, operators, consultants, educators, interested Associations etc.) and advantageous proximity to the provincial Government.

“After the group identified issues that prevail in the Vancouver Island region, they were asked to identify which were the most common throughout the region.

“Having agreed to the common issues, the group was asked to identify solutions. In the interest of the sheer volume of specific issues and time constraints, the group was asked to identify solutions to the five common issues.

“In a discussion about solutions at the end of the workshop, the group came to consensus that the first step to addressing these issues was to continue building and expanding the network just established (the participants of the workshop agreed that they were the network),” concluded Kerry Elfstrom in his report.

To Learn More:

Download Summary Report on Meeting of the Minds Workshop in September 2005 to read a synthesis of the discussion and outcomes.

Workshop Outcome

EricBonham_BCWWAIn a workshop  overview subsequently submitted to the BCWWA’s Board of Directors, Eric Bonham wrote that:

“Through discussion, participants indicated their expectations of the workshop, then identified Vancouver Island water and wastewater issues and possible solutions, which were subsequently clustered into five broad categories, namely:

  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
  • Funding
  • Governance.

“It was the  consensus of the group that the dialogue initiated at the workshop continue in the future with the goal of building an effective long-term communications network addressing issues facing both the public and the water and wastewater industry on Vancouver Island.

“As an interim step, an ad hoc committee was formed to establish future directions. Mac Fraser, Chief Administrative Officer of the Village of Cumberland, was named Chair.”