(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

RDN: Governance and services study for Electoral Area F gets provincial approval

District receives $60,000 grant to conduct study

The provincial government has approved a governance and services study to be conducted in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Electoral Area F.

A request to undertake the study was submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs by the RDN board in November 2020 as requested by Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter.

The purpose of the study is to gather information about current governance and service delivery, to get feedback from the community about their interests, priorities and challenges and to identify opportunities for improvement.

The province has provided a grant of $60,000 toward the cost of the study.

Salter thanked staff and the RDN board for making the study a reality. She said residents have been waiting for this to happen for more than 20 years.

A feasibility study conducted in 1995 showed a municipality for the area was feasible but it was halted in 2003. Former director Julian Fell made efforts to revive the process in 2011 but it never advanced at the provincial level.

A local governance and services study committee will be appointed by the RDN in the spring of 2022 and will comprised of seven to 11 residents representing various backgrounds, interests and localities in Area F to ensure a wide variety of perspectives are represented.

READ MORE: RDN’s Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) begins incorporation process

Area F residents who are interested in sitting on the committee may now apply. As an objective, fact-finding body, the study committee will assist in the study process, advise on and participate in public engagement and help develop recommendations for the final report, anticipated to be presented to the RDN board in the spring of 2023. Salter will be a non-voting member of the committee.

A consultant selected by the RDN will lead the study and work closely with the committee to ensure a balanced and inclusive community engagement process. The study will take approximately 12 months and will begin in the spring of 2022. The community engagement phase, planned for November 2022 to February 2023, will include opportunities for residents, First Nations and stakeholders to learn more about governance and services and provide feedback.

For information about the study, engagement process timeline and how to submit an application for a committee member position, visit getinvolved.rdn.ca/eaf-gsstudy. For project updates, register at getinvolved.rdn.ca and subscribe to the governance and services study project page.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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