Bringing the RDN closer to you

Regional District of Nanaimo will consider bringing electoral area planning meetings to the electoral areas

f you won’t go to the regional district, the regional district will come to you.

At least that’s what RDN director Bill Veenhof proposes. He represents Deep Bay/Bowser.

“I’m trying to do things to make the RDN more relevant to my constituency,” Veenhof told The NEWS.

He wants to see Electoral Area Planning Committee (EAPC) meetings take place in each rural community, instead of in Nanaimo where they are now conducted each month before committee of the whole meetings.

“The meetings in Nanaimo are a

45-minute drive for anyone to go to so consequently they don’t,” said Veenhof. “The idea is to bring the RDN out to rural areas.”

Ideally, he wants to see each meeting followed by a town-hall-style session, giving constituents an opportunity to address the board and ask questions.

Right now, RDN staff are looking into the financial implications of moving EAPC meetings out of  regional district chambers and into electoral areas. They will need to consider the cost of renting out a space and travel expenses for staff. Moreover, the meetings will have to be held on a different day so they don’t coincide with committee of the whole meetings.

“The costs would be somewhat offset by getting people out there (to the meetings) who wouldn’t have to pay for their trip,” said Veenhof. “At the core of it is the town hall meeting afterwards, where residents can bring their concerns forward.”

Veenhof said he wants to make local government more tangible for residents.

The whole idea, Veenhof said, was inspired by a 2014 community survey undertaken by the RDN that found many rural residents felt out of touch with local government.

“The RDN isn’t necessarily well respected in the rural areas,” said Veenhof.

He’s hoping this idea could transpire into a one-year pilot project that could start as early as this fall

Just Posted

Crosley Road blaze destroys pair of side-by-side structures

Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department reports no one injured, blaze quickly extinguished

Kwalikum Kondors clip Thunderbirds to earn Islands berth

Head coach Wilson says it’s the best game the Kondors played this season

Wine, beer and foodies unite to celebrate 11th annual Parksville Uncorked

Four-day festival takes place from Feb. 21 to 24

SD69 students hope to send artwork to space

The winning patches will accompany an experiment designed by five students from Ballenas

Review: Show about the show delights at Qualicum Beach premiere

A combination of hilarity and tender moments for Second Chances musical

VIDEO: The Art of Surfboard Making

Hand-made, handpainted surfboard by Parksville couple

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read