Sustainability workshop participants talk about social and cultural life in Ladysmith at the Aggie Hall Sept. 12.

Ladysmith’s future discussed

Workshop adds to visioning process

  • Sep. 20, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Around 60 people filed into Aggie Hall to discuss sustainability in Ladysmith.

 

The session was led by Mark Holland, formerly of HB Lanarc, who took the lead hand in Ladysmith’s visioning process in 2008 and 2009.

 

Participants were given the opportunity to pick three topics from a list of five — Economic, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Social and Cultural and Working Together.

 

Then three half-hour workshops were held where people had a chance to talk about different issues in each section, what actions they could take on a daily basis and what would motivate them to do more.

 

At the end of each workshop, people were invited to put a sticker next to the two initiatives they would like to see addressed.

 

For Arts and Culture, some of the top priorities selected by the groups were: Better funding for arts programs, rejuvenated and expanded public spaces, developing relationships with Stz’uminus First Nation.

 

For the Economic section, people would like to see the town look closely at attracting green businesses, exploring eco-tourism and exploring home-based businesses.

 

In terms of the Natural Environment, the people in attendance wanted to see the expansion of protected areas, protection of Holland Creek and the harbour and more parkland.

 

When it comes to our Built Environment (buildings) people wanted to see more done with the densification of downtown and new developments, appropriate development of the waterfront and exploration of partnerships with the Island Corridor Foundation to better develop the rail line.

 

And for the Working Together with other groups people wanted to see better communication so groups aren’t duplicating the same work, reviewing regional transit, improving the town website (which will be operational by Oct. 31) and holding regular town hall meetings at least twice a year.

People also gave their thoughts on priorities that included finding ways to better support and facilitate volunteers, and better linking parts of town with multi-use pathways.

 

Participants were also asked to highlight some of their other priorities at the end of the evening.

Len Manuel was one of the Ladysmith residents in the crowd and noted there was a lot of information for people to take in.

 

“I think overall the process was very positive,” said Manuel, who attended the natural environment, arts and culture and partnerships workshops. “It was a great opportunity for people to give input.”

 

The town will be presented with a report from the three-hour workshop in a few weeks. Manuel said he is looking forward to the report and how the different initiative are prioritized, especially the new priorities people could highlight.

 

Manuel said he heard some excellent suggestions including the need to connect Ladysmith and Nanaimo with public transportation and the need to get more involved with the arts.

 

Another attendant, Pam Fraser, said she thought the process was overall very positive and was glad to have contributed to the discussion.

 

“I think it’s admirable that they’re trying for citizens input,” said Fraser, noting the tight time line made the broad topics difficult to explore.

 

Fraser said she thought there was a fair consensus on where to move forward, but did not like that the priorities were pre-selected for people to choose.

 

However, she is aware of the time constraints. Further such workshops would work well with a more narrow focus, she added.

 

Fraser was also wary of whether the group present are representative of the community and would like to see some other kind of surveying done to compliment the information received.

“All that said, I still think it was a worthwhile exercise.”

 

Fraser had time to attend the partnerships, social and cultural and built environments workshops.

 

Coun. Bruce Whittington was present for the session and was pleased to see the appetite for more in the future.

 

“That is something we should look at doing,” said Whittington, adding the council knows it could do more in terms of communicating with the community.

 

“I think there is a real willingness to reach out to the community.”

 

Whittington said there were some interesting ideas stemming from the workshop including the need for a public policy for art in town.

 

“It’s one way for supporting the arts community.”

 

Coun. Scott Bastian said he found the residents at the meeting very open with their comments.

One of the big things that stuck out for Bastian was the demographic of the people at the meeting.

There were very few people under 30.

 

Bastian said there was a good range of ideas presented, and noted many have been raised before, such as concerns with the trolley, that people wanted updates to.

Just Posted

Review: Polish your language skills with The Foreigner

It’s all gibberish, but Charlie Baker’s personality receives a revamp in Chemainus Theatre production

Lavigne possesses crooner qualities, to be Frank

Island tour starts this week and concludes in Chemainus with two shows May 11

Art studio takes over former St. Joseph’s School space in Chemainus

Public invited to a grand opening on May 1 to see what’s transpired

First Nanaimo-Ladysmith all-candidates’ meeting is tomorrow

Six candidates expected to debate issues Thursday, April 25, at the Beban Park social centre

Ladysmith author explores community as The Moon Watched It All

Shelley A. Leedahl releasing her latest work, an illustrated tale for all ages

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read