Committee turns down request for RDN to be part of Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Among the concerns raised by directors was the verbal agreements made with First Nations

The Regional District of Nanaimo board does not want to be involved with the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region.

At the last Committee of the Whole meeting on June 13, staff recommended that the board authorize execution of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make the RDN an official partner with the MABR.

It was defeated, but the vote was not unanimous.

Some of the directors had some serious reservations about the MOU even after Monica Shore, Dr. Pam Shaw and Dr. David Witty of the MABR appeared as a delegation during the May 9 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Electoral Area Director Alec McPherson, Area B Director Howard Houle, Area C Director Maureen Young, Area F Director Julian Fell, and Nanaimo directors Gordon Fuller, Jerry Hong and Bill Yoachim all voted against it.

The purpose of the MOU is to create a foundation for regional co-operation between Vancouver Island University and the RDN in areas of mutual benefit that pertain to the MABR. As well, it will allow the RDN to participate in a roundtable forum that serves as a platform for sharing information and similar activities in the region.

The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum have established an MOU with VIU, and verbal agreements have been reached with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation and the Qualicum First Nation.

Yoachim raised concerns about the MABR’s position against the logging industry, which he based on past disagreements with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation. He feels that by signing the MOU, the RDN would be handcuffing the First Nations from their rights.

Area G director Joe Stanhope indicated the MOU is not about going against the forestry sector and explained that it’s all about science-based forestry renewal.

Qualicum Beach director Teunis Westbroek agreed with Stanhope and pointed out that forest companies had attended roundtable forums in the past. He added the MABR has no authority to stop any logging activity.

Yoachim and Hong raised concerns about the verbal agreements made with the First Nations, which they considered to be “loosey-goosey” and not concrete enough for them to get comfortable with.

Tyler Brown, RDN’s intergovernmental liaison, told the board the MOU does not place any binding, specific or obligatory financial commitments on the RDN. Nor does the agreement impose any financial liability or responsibility on either party with respect to the costs or expenses of the other.

Just Posted

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Oceanside Generals stun Victoria, 3-2

Junior B club snaps seven-year losing streak to Cougars

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read