Keeping in touch
As your spokesperson on the Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors, my role is to represent the interests, needs and concerns of the citizens of Electoral Area C. My purpose on the RDN Board is to bring your issues to the table,while assisting in making collective decisions to benefit the entire Regional District. British Columbia is divided into 27 Regional Districts,or local government areas.These districts provide a flexible form of general government that includes both municipalities and non- municipal areas.Representation is based on population.
The Regional District of Nanaimo includes Electoral Areas A through H,as well as the municipalities of Qualicum Beach,Parksville,Lantzville and Nanaimo.Its 17 elected Directors ensure that services are delivered on a cooperative,regionwide basis, or within selected local areas.These services include public transit, regional and community planning, fire protection,sewage treatment, solid waste management,recreation and parks,building inspection and bylaw enforcement,water supply, general administration and emergency planning.
As your elected voice on the Regional District of Nanaimo Board,I am always open to hearing your questions, suggestions and concerns about services provided by the RDN in Area C.I am also committed to keeping residents informed about RDN projects and initiatives,both locally and region-wide.
Elaine Hamilton, Director
Electoral Area C
Electoral Area C and D Amalgamation
In February of 2003 the Minister of Community,Aboriginal and Women ’s Services sent a letter to the Regional District Board advising that with the incorporation of the new municipality of Lantzville,a decision needed to be made regarding the remainder of Electoral Area D.The Minister invited the Regional District Board to comment on the proposed amalgamation and an advisory committee was formed with representation from Electoral Areas C and D.
In June 2003, the Province proceeded with legislation to blend the remainder of Electoral Area D with Electoral Area C to coincide with the November 2005 Local Government Elections. Its reason for amalgamation was based upon the fact that combining the two Electoral Areas would still result in the lowest population of all the Electoral Areas of 2,492 - the remaining area populations range from 3,179 to 7,041. In addition, the Province noted that a single voting unit on the Regional District Board is based on a population of 2,500,of which the combined area would have slightly less than a single voting unit.
Although legislation was enacted to join the two areas, the Regional District proceeded with its commitment to seek comment from the residents of the two Electoral Areas. Following this consultation, the residents indicated that they were not in support of the amalgamation. Information from the resident advisory committee was brought forward to the Board on October 26, 2004 for consideration with a resolution asking that the Board send a letter to the Province requesting that the two Electoral Areas remain separate. Following a lengthy discussion,the Board defeated the advisory committee recommendation.
While the Board was split in its views regarding whether the two Electoral Areas should remain separate or should merge as a single area, it was in agreement with the way in which the matter had been handled by the Province. As a result, the Board supported a motion to send a letter to Minister Murray Coell, “expressing our frustration and dissatisfaction with the manner in which they handled amending the boundaries of Electoral Areas C and D, given that correspondence from the Minister had asked for Board input.”The Board also concurred with the motion to forward all letters, emails and petitions received from the residents of Electoral Areas C and D to Minister Coell, with copies to MLA Judith Reid, MLA Mike Hunter and the Union of BC Municipalities.
It has been confirmed by the Province that effective November 2005,the remainder of Electoral Area D will be amalgamated with Electoral Area C. An election will take place at that time to elect a single Director to represent the newly merged Electoral Area C.
Nanaimo River Regional Park
Those of us who live in Electoral Area C will soon be benefiting from enhancements to 56.5 hectares of new regional park land along the Nanaimo River.
The Regional District of Nanaimo is currently developing a five-year Management Plan, to set guidelines for park development and policies for public use. Over the next five years, The Land Conservancy will also be conducting environmental baseline assessments and inventory work on the park properties on both sides of the river.
The RDN Nanaimo River Parks Management Plan includes components such as public safety, accessibility,environmental protection, park uses,development standards, economic development and operations and administration.Preservation of habitat will be the primary consideration in all management activities.
The RDN continues to consult with stakeholders about the plan,and held public open houses in February and September 2004.The Regional District of Nanaimo Board will receive the plan for consideration in December 2004.
The Regional District of Nanaimo Board and the Nanaimo Airport Commission are considering the details of the Official Community Plan and Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw amendments for the Nanaimo Airport lands.
|Rural roads and lush farmland in Electoral Area C.|
The RDN looks forward to continuing its work with the Nanaimo Airport Commission in providing a valuable service to residents and our regional economy.
Trans-Canada Trail Update
Trans-Canada Trail access is continuing to improve,as the Regional District of Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Trails B.C. volunteers work toward providing a connection from the Haslam Creek suspension bridge through Ladysmith to the Cowichan Valley.
The Trans-Canada Trail is a shared-use recreational trail that crosses the entire country and includes every province and territory. When it is completed, it is expected to be approximately 16,000 kilometres long. On Vancouver Island, the Trail will include a 150-kilometre portion running from the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo to the City of Victoria. Several Vancouver Island jurisdictions are now working on this project,and the Haslam Creek Bridge connection is a vital part.
The RDN has been working with trail volunteers to compile a geographic inventory of trailhead conditions on the Area C portions of the Trail. Volunteers have opened up the Trail and flagged routes to be used in the RDN, and are working hard to keep the project advancing. Residents are in favour of the project, and the public has asked the RDN to keep participating in and supporting Trans- Canada Trail development.
In August 2004,the RDN entered into a five-year renewable lease with Weyerhaeuser for the portions of the Trail located on the company ’s land. This will allow the trail to continue to be used for non-profit recreational purposes. The lease is in place until July 31,2009,at which time the RDN will have an option to renew.