Vanessa Craig remains RDN board vice-chair as directors confirm areas of focus

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In addition to voting for chair and vice-chair for the final year of directors’ elected term, the Regional District of Nanaimo board also confirmed its key priorities.

Nanaimo Director Tyler Brown and Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) Director Vanessa Craig were elected by acclimation as chair and vice-chair of the board.

Following the outcomes of a strategic plan workshop on Oct. 25, the board voted to confirm its focus areas in relation to the RDN strategic plan will be enhancing First Nations relations and advancing advocacy work related to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital capital projects.

Over the next year, the board will “identify strategies and opportunities for reconciliation work and relationship-building initiatives, in collaboration with First Nations and in alignment with their interests, timelines and priorities,” the staff report on the workshop outcomes says.

“Supporting health infrastructure development to best meet the region’s health care needs is a fundamental obligation and a core service,” the report says with regards to hospital capital projects.

In the workshop, staff heard the board wanted to “see some advancement” in these two areas, but “not to the exclusion” of other areas, Chief Administrative Officer Doug Holmes said at the Nov. 9 board meeting.

During the workshop, board directors also discussed the parks and trails strategy currently underway, drinking water and watershed protection, waste diversion and asset management, among other areas. The board said it did not see the RDN as a leader of economic development in the region, but more of a supporter.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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