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Regional district leaders focus on sustainability

Regional sustainability is at the top of the minds of the Regional District of Nanaimo’s recently elected chairman and deputy chairwoman.

Joe Stanhope said he was pleased to be re-elected as chairman at Tuesday’s meeting, where Nanaimo Coun. Diane Brennan was appointed deputy chairwoman. Brennan previously sat on the RDN board from 2005-08.

“It’s really an honour to have the confidence of my city council and the regional board,” said Brennan.

Stanhope has chaired the board for the past nine years and says he wants to continue working toward a sustainable future by continuing to enhance programs such as the recycling and solid waste initiatives.

“We’re on the leading edge in Canada on solid waste diversion. We are diverting more stuff out of our landfills than anywhere else in Canada,” said Stanhope.  “Our green bin and recycling programs are really paying off.”

Stanhope says he hopes those programs will be re-examined to work on further improvements and to have consultations with the public to see what is working for them.

Water is also another important issue the RDN board will tackle this term.

Stanhope said drinking water and watershed protection are important for the sustainability of the region.

“What are the dangers to our aquifers?” asked Stanhope. “Are we really mining our aquifers – taking out more than what is going in?”

Both Stanhope and Brennan said they look forward to working with the returning and new faces on the RDN board and staff members.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

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