CREATING LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES & PROTECTING STREAM HEALTH: “Adapting to climate change and reducing impact on the environment will be conditions of receiving provincial infrastructure funding,” stated Catriona Weidman when she explained how the Province of British Columbia is helping goals become practice through the use of grant conditions (2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series)
NOTE TO READER:
In 2008, the Vancouver Island community-of-interest had not yet been created. Thus, online resources related to the ground-breaking 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series are dispersed across the waterbucket.ca website. A long-term task is to replicate and update those resources on this community-of-interest. Below is one of those resources.
Doing Business Differently in BC
The Province is leveraging its grants programs to influence changes on the ground. British Columbia is in transition. Today, assessment criteria are based on a philosophy of “the greener the better”. Tomorrow, all projects must meet a green standard. The Province’s position is clear: Adapting to climate change and reducing our collective impact on the environment will be a condition for receiving provincial infrastructure funding.
Green Communities Amendments
The Province has enacted legislation (Bill 27) that will help municipalities and regional districts create more compact, sustainable and greener communities. The legislation came into force in June 2008. Now local governments are required to include greenhouse gas emission targets, policies and actions in their Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies.
According to Smart Growth BC: “This Bill is an excellent step towards climate protection, and many of the tools will assist local governments in addressing energy and greenhouse gas emissions.”
At the first in the 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, hosted by the City of Courtenay, Catriona Weidman of the Ministry of Community Development elaborated on the Province’s guiding philosophy for doing business differently.
Catriona’s presentation was organized under three topic headings: 1) Changing the Rules for Greener Communities; 2) Living Water Smart; and 3) Funding for Green Infrastructure.
To Learn More:
To download and view the slide presentation by Catriona Weidman, click on Creating Liveable Communities & Protecting Stream Health: Helping goals become practice.
From Goals to Practice
To both provide a record of the day and capture the flavour of presentations at Seminar #1, video clips have been uploaded to YouTube. The video of the presentation by Catriona Weidman has been divided into two segments – the first is 5 minutes and covers Changing the Rules and Living Water Smart; the second is 8 minutes in length and deals with funding.
Changing the Rules
“We all work with rules …. what we really want to do is change some of the rules … to create the kind of communities that we desire,” stated Catriona. “We are using infrastructure funding to … encourage the right type of projects.”
Funding for Green Infrastructure
“There are three types of funding: planning, construction and recognition,” explained Catriona. The purpose of the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program, for example, is to assist local governments in developing sustainable infrastructure.
Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards
Catriona outlined a number of ideas that would be received favourably by the Ministry under the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program. These include stream health feasibility studies and watershed plans.
“As we move forward, projects will only be eligible where they are green and sustainable,” emphasized Catriona when she explained how grant programs will leverage change through eligibility and assessment criteria.