Metro Vancouver Reference Panel shares water-centric vision with Regional Engineers Advisory Committee – “The region needs to turn innovative ideas into real action,” stated Christianne Wilhelmson, Panel Co-Chair (February 2009)
Note to Reader:
In April 2008, the Metro Vancouver Board appointed a 9-person Reference Panel to provide comments and advice on the region’s strategy for updating its Liquid Waste Management Plan. The Reference Panel reports directly to the Metro Vancouver Waste Management Committee.
To download a report-style, PDF version of the following web story, click on Metro Vancouver Reference Panel shares water-centric vision with Regional Engineers Advisory Committee – February 2009
Dialogue with Municipal Engineers
“REAC is a key group in terms of representing the municipal perspective in plan development,” reports Kim Stephens. “It was therefore important that the Reference Panel initiate a dialogue with REAC and build trust. So we met with REAC to explain the Reference Panel process, with emphasis on what we reported to the Waste Management Committee in July 2008.”
“When we met with elected representatives in July 2008 to present our assessment of the Metro Vancouver’s strategy document, we endorsed the proposed Goals, Strategies and Action Strategies…and with suggestions to make it stronger,” explains Christianne Wilhelmson. “At that time we also challenged Metro Vancouver to provide visionary leadership, focusing on protecting the marine environment and recovering resources from our waste. The region needs to turn innovative ideas into real action. In meeting with REAC we wanted to give them a sense of how the Reference Panel process has been unfolding in the months since last July and challenge them to show leadership as well.”
To Learn More:
To download a copy of the integrated presentation by Kim Stephens and Christianne Wilhelmson, click on Metro Vancouver Reference Panel shares water-centric vision with Regional Engineers Advisory Committee.
For the complete story of the Reference Panel, click here to visit the Panel’s “homepage” on the Convening for Action Community-of-Interest.
A Model for Integration
“We explained that a significant contribution by the Reference Panel was our suggestion to organize and communicate the Liquid Waste Management Plan around three theme areas: Sewage Treatment, Built Environment, and Natural Environment,” continues Christianne Wilhelmson. “These themes resonate more with the public and are focussed on the issues that need to be addressed in the updated plan.”
“It was Ken Hall, UBC Professor Emeritus and a member of the Reference Panel, who inspired us to apply a Venn diagram way-of-thinking to conceptualize integration,” adds Kim Stephens. “In a subsequent conversation, a provincial colleague observed that the larger the ‘circle of integration’, the more receptive senior governments will be to Metro Vancouver’s request for funding towards the $1.4 billion treatment cost.”
Feedback from REAC members was enthusiastic. “The presentation by Kim and Christianne was well rounded, well prepared, and well delivered. They succeeded in building a bridge to REAC,” stated Raymond Fung, Director of Engineering and Transportation, District of West Vancouver.
Living Water Smart
“When we reported out to the Waste Management Committee in July 2008, we urged Metro Vancouver to change the name of the plan to Liquid RESOURCE Management Plan,” reports Christianne Wilhelmson. “The reason being that we need to change the way we look at waste so that is it not something that we need to get rid of, at the cost our land and our oceans. The Board accepted our recommendation and asked the Province to make it happen.”
“We view the name change as a way to start the paradigm-shift that will result in doing business differently…..the New Business As Usual as we framed it in our July 2008 presentation,” states Kim Stephens. “This would be consistent with the framework and direction provided by Living Water Smart, BC’s Water Plan.”
Creating Our Future
Throughout their presentation to REAC, both Kim and Christianne repeatedly stressed the importance of having a shared vision.
“Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there,” observed Vincent Lalonde, City of Surrey General Manager, Engineering. “All of us need to understand and care about the goal if we are to create the future that we all want.”