ISSUE 8 - Fall 2007Green Cities Award
This fall, the Province recognized the Regional District of Nanaimo for the many steps we are taking toward building more sustainable communities. At the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention in September, Premier Gordon Campbell presented the RDN with one of the Provincial Governmentís seven inaugural Green Cities Awards. The Premier established these awards in the fall of 2006, to encourage local governments to think green in as many areas of their operations as possible.
In choosing the first-ever Green City Award recipients, the Province evaluated nominated communities on criteria including liveability, climate change, and innovation, as well as the extent to which social, environmental and economic values are integrated throughout the communities.
In its size category, the Regional District of Nanaimo competed successfully against Metro Vancouver (formerly the Greater Vancouver Regional District) for the Green Cities Award. According to Premier Gordon Campbell, the RDN was chosen because of its green thinking in terms of solid and liquid waste management, regional transit, and regional development including urban containment.
This is a tremendous achievement for the Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors, as we have worked hard over the past few years to maintain our commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. We will continue to make improvements in our operations as we work toward this important goal.
New provider for fire protection in some areas
The Regional District of Nanaimo is proposing an alternative for fire protection services to property owners in the Yellowpoint/Waterloo Fire Protection service area.
Property owners in the southern portions of both Electoral Area A (Yellowpoint) and Electoral Area C (Cassidy/Spruston Rd.) currently receive fire protection services through a contract with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and their North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department. Following the relocation of the North Cedar firehall, the Regional District and the Cowichan Valley began looking at the response boundaries. The RDN Board is recommending that the contract with the Cowichan Valley be terminated and that fire protection services for these areas be transferred to the North Cedar and Cranberry Fire Districts.
Property owners will be directly represented through the Boards of the North Cedar and Cranberry Fire Districts for taxation, delivery and management of fire protection services. Both improvement districts have agreed in principle with the proposal. Detailed planning on the transfer will take place in 2008 and needs to be confirmed by a vote by the affected property owners. The transfer of services is expected to be effective by January 1, 2009.
Winter Emergency Preparedness
As the days get colder, we face the probability of winter rain, wind and snow storms. Last year, many residents faced challenges at home and on the road as a result of the weather. Itís important to be prepared for such situations in order to keep ourselves and our families safe, warm and dry.
Itís a good idea to keep home and vehicle emergency kits stocked up with blankets or a change of clothes, personal medications, a flashlight and/or candles with matches, bottled water, and nutritious foods. Vehicle emergency kits should also contain items such as road maps and a compass, work gloves, flares, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand and traction aids.
Power outages are a frequent occurrence during stormy weather. If you experience a power outage and you live close enough to your neighbours to see their homes, check to see if their lights are still on. If so, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If not, call BC Hydro at 1- 888-POWERON (1-888-769-3766). Report the power outage and your location so that they can send crews out to fix the problem. Keep in mind that if the weather is stormy it may take awhile for BC Hydro to restore power to you, since hundreds of residents may be encountering the same problem.
If you have a home generator, please keep in mind that these items can be extremely dangerous. If generators are not used properly, you could risk carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, or electrocution. Always follow the manufacturerís instructions, and remember that portable generators should only be used outdoors, in an area where exhaust cannot enter your home or other structures through the doors or windows.
For more information, visit BC Hydro . This link is also available at www.rdn.bc.ca under the Emergency Planning section. The Regional District of Nanaimo Emergency Program has many more excellent tips about how to prepare for an emergency. For more information, visit www.rdn.bc.ca and go to the Emergency Planning section of the Development Services page, or call 954-3798 and ask for the Emergency Coordinator.