Regional Director’s Report November December 2015

November started off with the opening of the new and improved building for the Gabriola Island Recycling Organization (GIRO). The number of volunteer hours put into this project was astonishing and the building team has given us all a very wonderful gift. This project may not have been done for years in the future if it had not been for the dedication of many people and I thank you all  on behalf of the community. The volunteers on Gabriola are what makes our community such a great place to live and we do so much when we do it together.

On the economic front I had a very good meeting with the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) and Tourism Nanaimo. We had a good exchange of information and will meet again in the New Year to see if there are any other issues to address.

The playground at Rollo McClay park is up and running. Without the work of volunteers, the kids would still be waiting. Instead it’s great to see how well the playground is being used even in the rain. If your kids haven’t tried the Accelerator it is one of the best features at the playground, I highly recommend it.

The Harbour Front library has now reopened and not without controversies. Libraries are moving to a more open space environment to allow more community uses. There are fewer books in the library but more in the mobile collection. We are also moving to more EBooks and rooms for small meetings and interesting rooms with things for kids to build. The espresso book machine is a very interesting way to do small runs of books at a reasonable cost . To use this book machine you need an electronic copy of your book, then staff will help you do the set up. There is a charge for that but only once and it’s by the page. The book machine will print nice colour covers and bind your book as well.

At the RDN it’s budget time which means lots of meetings over the next few months. Along with the budget, we are undertaking a strategic plan. Together these will  set out the course of the RDN  financially, socially, and environmentally for the next 5 years.

The most recent budget talk was over Gabriola parks .Some of the priorities are continuing with the trial clearing in the whale bone parks and improving access to both the parks and the waterfront. There will also be brushing in the 707 park for emergency access and general improvements in other parks.

I attended the second of the series of meetings about healthcare and well-being on Gabriola. The discussions are always interesting and informative. One of our biggest problems is the lack of housing. When people are properly housed their health outcomes are better, their ability to contribute to society in general improves and there are lower policing costs.  How the situation can be changed is at issue as the federal and provincial governments both say they have no funds to contribute. Is it time for communities to step up? Or not?

The 4-H appreciation tea was held for all the sponsors of 4-H. There were cookies, tea and coffee all served by the 4-H kids. This is also the windup of the 4-H year so it was time for certificates, pins and recognition of achievements for the year. If you would like to know more about joining 4-H or sponsorship give Sue Boulton a call.

I have been asked many times about the bit of moose hide I wear and that has led me to moving the Moose Hide campaign forward. In November at the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) and the RDN Board meeting  I gave a presentation of the Moose Hide Campaign against domestic violence directed at women and children. Violence against women and children is a man’s problem and only men can do something about it. With that I would like to introduce you to the Moose Hide Campaign (www.moosehidecampaign.ca) the Moose Hide Campaign is a grassroots movement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men who are standing up against violence towards women and children. The wearing of a moose hide pin signifies your commitment to honour, respect and protect the women and children in your life and to work with other men to end violence against women and children.

A special thank-you to all the people who volunteer in the community in so many organizations, its part of what make Gabriola such a special place to live.

Best of the New Year

Still having fun

Howard

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