“The Dialogue in Nanaimo was structured around a water sustainability panel. Rather than talking heads, the panel engaged in a form of ‘improv theatre’ to feed off each other in spontaneously expressing key messages about water. This primed the audience for ‘small group’ dialogues in eight theme areas,” stated Kathy Bishop.” The small groups dialogue were followed by a ‘big group’ dialogue. A lot of ideas and information were generated by the small groups. In the big group we started to look at what needs to happen.”
2010 Dialogue in Nanaimo
CAVI Chair John Finnie announced launch of ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ at the ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’ on June 11, 2010
“Beyond the Guidebook 2010 describes how water sustainability can and will be achieved through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices. Getting there relies on a change in mind-set,” stated John Finnie. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is the story of what has been accomplished on the ground. It demonstrates that the practitioner culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration, partnerships and alignment. It also provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans.
‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’ is a stepping stone to the ‘State of the Island Economic Summit’ in October 2010
In June 2010, Leadership Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) initiated a community dialogue about Fresh Water Sustainability. “We have had the guts to start this dialogue, but we will also need bigger guts to complete what we started. Part of the process is summarizing what we heard today, inviting people back to the table to talk about what we have determined in that summary, and then putting together a plan of action together for moving forward. When we have that plan in draft format, we will be hosting a breakout session at the State of the Island Summit ,” stated Cori Lynn Germiquet.
Water sustainability is in our hands: Dialogue in Nanaimo is a springboard to action, envisions Patrick Ross
“We want you to help us identify and overview the issues. We want to create some initial hope, and this is really critical.. for some solutions. We want to structure some dialogue that will create some networking for the future,” stated Patrick Ross. “What outcome do we want? We hope that the individuals in the room today will learn some more about this incredibly critical component of our lives.”
Ted van der Gulik explains why the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands is leading the Water Balance Model initiative
“Farmers are saying it is not the big storms that cause them problems. Rather, it is all the little storms. All the water from the uplands is just enough that the farmers cannot get on their land and plant or harvest their crops,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “(Development in the uplands) is affecting the way we are trying to manage agriculture. So we need to change the way we are doing things in the uplands. It is about replenishing the groundwater.”
“We have to move beyond the technical and the engagement of local governments towards a universal commitment to sustainability on Vancouver Island. Taking the greater context, we are now ready to take the next step towards engaging the public, business, schools and community organizations in a united front to play their respective role in sustainability initiatives based upon the fundamental requirement of water sustainability,” stated Eric Bonham. “Why not follow the leadership of Chemainus….’the little town that did’ and expand the vision to ‘the island that did’.”
Launched in 2002, Leadership BC is a BC Chamber of Commerce initiative to build local capacity. Nanaimo and Ladysmith were the pilot projects for this provincial initiative. The two were subsequently amalgamated to form Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island. “Our mission is to seek out and cultivate potential and emerging leaders. The program goal is to prepare community leaders across BC to take an active role in moving their communities forward by working with them to foster a better understanding of how the issues impacting their communities are interconnected and by forging stronger relationships among community and regional leaders,” stated Patrick Ross.