RDN will go to bat for Streamkeepers

Group needs help relating to water licences and Regional District of Nanaimo directors pledge their support

When mayors, councillors and regional district directors converge on Sooke in April for the annual Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention, the Regional District of Nanaimo will have some issues on the agenda.

One of the issues involves the local Streamkeepers group, which has had trouble getting water licences to do their stream restoration work.

The problem arose when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans stopped holding water licences for stream restoration groups. Because non-profit organizations are not allowed to hold water licences, this has led to difficulties in doing their in-stream work.

The RDN board plans to bring up the need for Streamkeepers to be able to get approvals to do their work.

As well, in light of a significant delay in receiving a tsunami warning after a major earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwai in October of last year, the Regional District of Nanaimo plans to present a resolution on the matter at the convention.

The resolution calls on the province to take immediate action to resolve all issues with tsunami warnings so as to ensure they are broadcast within two minutes of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assessment of a tsunami warning.

Finally, the RDN is stepping into the issue of seaweed harvests on local beaches.

The move comes in light of directors not being made aware of seaweed licences being issued last year.

The resolution calls for provincial ministries to be required to inform local governments when they are issuing licences on lands within or adjacent to a local government.