Regional Districts in British Columbia Overview
In Regional Districts in British Columbia electors elect their local representatives every three years, and pay only for those services provided to the Electoral Area or Municipality in which they reside. There are 17 Regional Directors elected to The Regional District of Nanaimo Board representing the following Electoral Areas and Municipalities:
- Electoral Area A – Cassidy, Cedar, Yellowpoint, South Wellington
- Electoral Area B – Gabriola, DeCourcy, Mudge Islands
- Electoral Area C – Extension, Arrowsmith-Benson, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley
- Electoral Area E – Nanoose Bay
- Electoral Area F – Coombs, Hilliers, Errington
- Electoral Area G – French Creek, Dashwood, Englishman River
- Electoral Area H – Shaw Hill, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay, Bowser
- Municipalities of the RDN – Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach
Services currently provided within RDN Electoral Area B (Gabriola, DeCourcy, Mudge Islands) follow:
Administering the activities and managing the business of the Regional Board of Directors and its Electoral Area Planning and Committee of the Whole Standing Committees is a key responsibility of the Administration Department. Other major activities of this department include:
- Preparing Board and Committee agendas and information packages
- Preparing Minutes of Board and Committee meetings
- Arranging presentations by the public to the Board and its Committees and managing its correspondence
- Conducting local government elections of Electoral Area Directors & Referendums
The building inspection function is the responsibility of Regional districts. The goal of the Building Inspection Department is to ensure the health, safety and protection of persons and property by confirming that buildings and their systems generally conform to relevant bylaws, the BC Building Code and other applicable standards.
The Building Inspection Department administers Building Regulations Bylaw 1250 and through this bylaw, the BC Building Code and other regulations. Electoral Area B Note: In most cases, the building inspectors interpret local zoning and land use bylaws when issuing building permits; in cases where the building inspector is not sure of the zoning, the building inspector will refer the permit application to Islands Trust planners to confirm compliance with zoning regulations.
The RDN has many regulatory bylaws regarding land use, building, animal control, noise, signage and property maintenance to name only a few. The role of Bylaw Services is to obtain compliance with regulations to ensure the protection of neighbours and the community within the RDN.
The mandate of the Bylaw Enforcement Officers is to identify, investigate, mediate and resolve bylaw violations and provide enforcement services to all departments and Electoral Areas within the RDN. The RDN also provides bylaw enforcement to the District of Lantzville by way of a service agreement.
Bylaw enforcement officers will work with those willing to correct infractions, however, officers have a range of tools to ensure compliance ranging from issuing tickets to obtaining court orders and injunctions.
Parks & Open Space Advisory Committees
Parks and Open Space Advisory Committees (POSACs) are made up of appointed representatives from an Electoral Area to advise the Regional Board on matters that pertain to Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area Community Parks and Trails. Currently, Regional District Director, Gisele Rudischer, Cameron Murray, Catherine Williams, Laurie Burke, Nancy Crozier, James Young, and Stephen O’Neill are serving on the Electoral Area B POSAC. For meeting times, locations and agendas contact the Recreation and Parks Office at (250) 248-3252 or 1-888-828-2069.
The RDN has a range of recreation opportunities in the Regional Parks and Trails system ranging from hiking on a mountain trail to camping on the oceanfront or a lakefront. Regional Parks and Trails operational and development costs as well as acquisition costs for new Regional Parks are funded by the four municipalities in the RDN (City of Nanaimo, District of Lantzville, City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach) as well as the all eight electoral areas. In 2005, the Regional Board updated the Regional Parks and Trails Plan to guide the acquisition and operations of Regional Parks and Trails for the next ten years.
- Descanso Bay Regional Park is located at 595 Taylor Bay Road, only a short distance from the ferry terminal on Gabriola Island. The Regional Park offers 32 camping sites on a beautiful 40-acre oceanfront property. Two oyster bays provide many delights for kayakers and other boaters as well as picnickers, campers and hikers. The Regional Park is also adjacent to the 113 acre Cox Community Park which has a network of trails through a well established forest setting.
- Coats Marsh Regional Park is a 45.7 hectare parcel of wetlands and forest on Gabriola Island which became a Regional Park thanks to Clyde Coats and an acquisition partnership between The Nature Trust of British Columbia, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and the BC Trust for Public Lands. It features a wetland and stands of rare coastal Douglas fir, and two creeks run through the property that connect to Hoggan Lake. The land also kitty corners the 707 Acre Community Park, owned and managed by the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Each of the seven electoral areas in the RDN has a Community Park function. The budget for each of the areas varies, depending upon the level of tax requisition approved by the RDN Board. Community input and feedback on planning and managing the Electoral Area B parks, trails and open spaces is derived in a variety of ways including POSAC community meetings and Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) meetings. There are 26 Community Parks on Gabriola, 5 on DeCourcy and 1 on Mudge Island. The RDN also holds 6 permits for public water access from the Ministry of Transporation.
Gabriola Island Recreation
Regional District recreation services are currently provided to Gabriola residents through an agreement with the Gabriola Recreation Society. The Society administers a budget and oversees the development and implementation of programs and services provided by the Program Director. For further information contact the Society visit the Gabriola Recreation Society website, or telephone (250) 247-2014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Electoral Area B residents contribute approximately $14000. annually to the Port Theater in Nanaimo.
The RDN website is a good place to start when reviewing emergency plans. Electoral Area B residents can also contact Gabriola Emergency Social Services. GESS is part of the ESS provincial program which provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies. For Pet and Livestock emergency preparedness information contact Gail Moerkerken at (250) 247-7556.
Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants-in-aid to help fund programs, activities or events that enhance the wellbeing of our community and benefit the residents. Organizations are encouraged to work toward financial independence. Continuing financial support should not be anticipated.
The Grants-In-Aid Committee is composed of two RDN Directors and three members at large who meet twice annually, in the Spring and Fall, to evaluate applications. See: RDN – Grants in Aid Criteria. Application forms are available by emailing RDN Corporate Services email@example.com.
Solid Waste Management
The RDN Zero Waste Program earned national recognition in early 2011 in the form of a Sustainable Community Award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The Green Bin Program will help establish this region as a national leader in solid waste management, and put the RDN on track to achieving its goal of diverting 75 per cent of solid waste from the Regional Landfill.
We also have a local non-profit society Gabriola Island Recycling Organization (GIRO) that operates a reuse depot for residents of Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy and Link Islands.
Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL)
Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is the fourth largest library system in British Columbia. It serves more than 400,000 people on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, and Bella Coola on the Central Coast through 38 branch libraries, a virtual branch, and a books by mail service. Administrative offices are located in Nanaimo.
Library service began on Gabriola Island as a bookmobile. The Books by Mail service was also very popular. The Gabriola Island branch officially opened in 1999 and is very heavily used. The Board is looking into acquiring much needed space for growth and expansion.
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