GVFD Open House

The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department Open House on Saturday April 6 was fun - and because we were inside, we were warm and cozy! Lots of fun activities for the kids who got to try blasting safety cones off a table with a fire nozzle, climb into a fire truck, and try CPR on a dummy. Emergency Support Services, PALS (animals and livestock) and emergency communications also had tables with information about emergency preparedness, and Melissa from the RDN provided a presentation on emergency preparedness. Thanks for coming out!

March update

We want to hear from you! The RDN Board has launched several public engagement initiatives, most recently our draft Strategic Plan and an update of the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection (DWWP) Action Plan. Additional projects include the Nanaimo Airport planning bylaw update, and a Regional Growth Strategy review, among others. Find links to these and other documents and opportunities to provide input at https://www.rdn.bc.ca/get-involved-rdn.

The draft Strategic Plan (RDN Talks: Priorities on the above website) identifies 8 focus areas for the Board: climate change, environmental stewardship, housing, growth management, transportation and transit, economic coordination, people and partnerships, and social well-being. Under each focal area we identify several actions – each of which will require several steps. The timelines identified will give us momentum on some very important issues. What do you think of these priorities? Are there actions we’ve missed? Please provide feedback on the page above, or directly to me.

The DWWP Action Plan is undergoing a 10-year refresh. After a review of the plan and associated activities, we’re setting the priorities for the next 10 years. I am pleased to have been appointed to the Steering Committee. The website above links to the documents and a survey about your thoughts on watershed protection – if you answer the survey you have a chance to win a rain barrell! I know islanders are extremely interested in water – I’d love to see great participation by Area B in the survey!

Here are a few additional recent initiatives the Board/staff has undertaken:

  • we continue to discuss the opportunity to develop non-vehicular use in a road right-of-way with MOTI;

  • an asset management review and implementation staff report was brought forward at the March 12th Committee of the Whole meeting (all reports are available on the RDN website). This thorough report allows better management of our built assets, and it’s worth a read. We’ve also discussed the idea of doing a natural assets review (eg parks) as well;

  • the RDN was recently the lead applicant to the CleanBC Communities Fund along with surrounding municipalities. If received, the grant will allow the RDN to build up to 10, level-2 electric vehicle charging stations. I’ve got my hand up for a Gabriola station.

  • review of funding options for regional and community parks initiatives (eg Development Cost Charges) – next step: staff report;

  • review existing bylaws in each electoral area, recommend ways to address gaps, and identify cost-recovery options – next step: staff report;

  • review the cost of webcasting Board/committee meetings – next step: staff report;

Upcoming (all open to the public):

  • April 6th 10-2 pm at the North Fire Hall: Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department Open House – RDN staff and I will be there to promote emergency preparedness

  • April 9th 1:30~5 pm at the RDN Building: Electoral Area Services committee and Committee of the Whole

  • April 23rd 7~11 pm at the RDN building: Board meeting

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at vanessa.craig@rdn.bc.ca.

Skatepark fundraising

I was privileged to be invited to attend a ceremony today where Ride Free representatives Gaye Smith and Gray Switzer donated funds raised with the goal of building a skatepark on Gabriola, to the Keep on Pushin’ fundraising group. The funds were raised in honour of Gaye Smith’s son Stephen Smith, who was killed in Nanaimo in 2003. The funds have been added to the growing total that the Keep on Pushin’ group has raised so far.

Provisional Budget

Provisional Budget

You might have heard that the provisional budget for the RDN came forward at the December 4 RDN meeting. This provisional budget has been in development since last spring, and is the staff recommendation. The budget will be revised in January and finalized in February. If you’d like to see more information about the budget, post questions to RDN staff about the budget, or answer a survey about how you’d like to provide input into future budget planning processes, you can visit the RDN page https://www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/rdn-budget-talks

I’ve had questions about the provisional budget, and I include answers to the most common below: