Drinking Water Watershed Protection Action Plan
When we think about our communities and what makes them healthy we all understand the importance of water. Access to safe and adequate water allows us to make the most of our lives, promotes healthy communities and, when managed properly, preserves the environment in which we live.
Achieving a balance between our use of water and the impact that has on the environment is necessary; without that balance we risk continually reducing the environmental health of our region. The pressures we see with growth and land use decisions are just two areas that have a direct effect on that ability to provide water for the future.
With this in mind the Regional District of Nanaimo has developed a Drinking Water – Watershed Protection Action Plan. This plan was developed with input from area residents, representatives of local conservation groups, Provincial government, the well drilling industry and a number of other related stakeholders.
The Action Plan is a 10-year program aimed at improving our understanding of the region’s watersheds and leading to increased protection of the ground and surface water resources that sustain our communities. The Action Plan will be facilitated by the establishment of a drinking water and watershed protection area covering all electoral areas within the regional district.
In November 2008 the Regional District will be asking residents of all seven Electoral Areas if they are in favour of establishing a single service area for this purpose. More information on the Action Plan, its scope and the costs will be presented to the public this fall. Please watch for updates at the RDN WaterSmart site.
Fire protection update
Fire Protection in the Yellowpoint/ Waterloo area of Electoral Areas A and C is now in the process of switching from the Cowichan Valley Regional District (North Oyster Fire Department) to the Regional District of Nanaimo (North Cedar and Cranberry Fire Districts). This affects Area A (Yellowpoint) and Area C (Cassidy/ Spruston Rd.) residents.
The two Regional Districts have started discussions on how to change the boundaries, with the intent of bringing the matter to a vote by residents by the early fall of 2008. Both districts have agreed in principle to the proposal.
Seismic review of fire halls The RDN Board has budgeted for seismic reviews of all its fire halls to ensure that we are able to maintain our role in regional emergency response and preparedness. A recent seismic study of the Nanoose Bay fire hall showed that the building could potentially become non-operational if a serious earthquake occurred. This means that the risk is there for all RDN fire halls.
Our Fire Departments are a key part of regional emergency response and preparedness, and we need to make sure that they can operate under severe disaster conditions. The RDN Board has approved seismic reviews for the Bow Horn Bay, Dashwood, Errington, Coombs Hilliers and Extension volunteer fire departments.
Coal mining disaster memorial
In March 2008 the Extension Heritage Committee began meeting with the intent of establishing a coal mining disaster memorial. This memorial will commemorate all coal miners killed in Extension, and will serve to highlight the coal mining history of our area. Planning for the memorial is in the preliminary stages, and the exact form of the memorial is something that the committee and the community will decide on at a later date.
The East Wellington and Pleasant Valley Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee is hosting a meeting on Sunday, May 4, at the Community Park (Lot 11) at the corner of Jingle Pot Road and Meadow Drive. The purpose of the meeting is to gather input from the community about the future development of this park land. The meeting will run from 11am to 2pm, and there will be hot dogs and questionnaires provided. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend.
Shaping Our Future
The Regional District of Nanaimo is reviewing its Regional Growth Strategy. The original Strategy was adopted in 1997 by the member municipalities and unincorporated electoral areas, and was developed in response to concerns about the impacts of growth in the region. Rapid growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s raised residents’ concerns about worsening traffic, loss of open space and natural areas, increased costs of services, and changing neighbourhoods.
Since that time new concerns have risen to the forefront including climate change, food security and affordable housing. In response to these new challenges there is a need to review the Strategy to determine how it can be better integrated with other strategies to help achieve the vision for a socially, economically and environmentally healthy region. This is your chance to shape your future! How and where should we grow? The RDN Board wants to hear your views on the shape of the Regional District of Nanaimo’s future. For further information and to provide your input and ideas please go to www.ShapingOurFuture.ca.