Child care compensation from Regional District of Nanaimo examined

NANAIMO – Director hopes to see younger colleagues at the table following next year's municipal election.

A Regional District of Nanaimo director is hoping to see younger colleagues sitting at the board table following next year’s municipal election.

In order to entice younger people to run in the November election, Area H director Bill Veenhof proposed a motion at last month’s regional district board meeting that will see the district’s remuneration review committee examine child care compensation.

“Fundamentally, when you look around the board room, that really at the end of the day, to run for office, you’ve got to either be retired and on a decent pension or have [disposable income], so at the end of the day, that skews the demography of who can think about running for office,” Veenhof said.

A young woman or man with a family on the board would bring a powerful and useful perspective, said Veenhof, who also proposed a motion to examine director compensation for all reasonable expenses.

“For instance, if you were an elected official and you had a significant other that needed medical care when you were involved in your political duties, that would be a reasonable expense in my mind,” he said.

Regional district board directors are compensated with an annual salary of $18,440.

Child care compensation and salaries would be among items the remuneration committee would examine and Veenhof expects the committee will have recommendations for the board by September.

The expectation is to have something in place before the November municipal election, in time for younger people to consider running.

“Given the composition of the board today, it wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a penny. But like I say, I think the taxpayer would be well served if we had young people on the board and so maybe if it encourages one person to run, that would be a good thing,” Veenhof said.