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Nanaimo councillors beginning work on action plan to implement city plan

Integrated action plan and monitoring strategy will accompany ReImagine Nanaimo city plan
Nanaimo city council, at a recent governance and priorities meeting, discussed coming work on an action plan to accompany the ReImagine Nanaimo city plan. (News Bulletin file photo)

Councillors now have a playbook to work from as they use Nanaimo’s new city plan to help determine how the city develops in the coming decades.

The ReImagine Nanaimo city plan, adopted last summer, was presented to the new council at a governance and priorities meeting Monday, Jan. 23, as councillors begin the process of working on an accompanying action plan.

The 644-page city plan gives direction on 35 policy topics, such as land use, truth and reconciliation, climate adaptation, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, economic prosperity, sustainable living and more.

This week’s meeting was a chance for city staff to orient councillors to the plan and two supporting documents – an integrated action plan and a monitoring strategy – both to be finalized and discussed at future governance and priorities committee meetings this spring and summer.

The action plan will show a range of actions the city is already doing and act as a tool to help organize the prioritization of projects that need to be done in five years, and those to be done into the future beyond five years.

“This is where the rubber hits the road with council getting to make decisions about your priorities … what actions will implement city plan goals,” said Lisa Bhopalsingh, director of community development.

Bhopalsingh said the city plan monitoring strategy will will help council and other community members understand what sort of progress the city is making toward its goals.

“What are our ongoing actions leading us to? What are our new actions leading us to? That information will help inform council about annual decision-making about budgets and priorities,” she said.

Bhopalsingh said to the best of her knowledge, this is the first time a B.C. community had taken this approach to creating a city plan by combining six “high-level documents” into one.

In her presentation, Bhopalsingh said Nanaimo’s population is expected to grow by as many as 40,000 residents over the next 25 years and is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Canada.

Coun. Ian Thorpe said he thought the presentation was informative and useful and a reminder of how large the document is and how much it contains.

“I think, as we gradually narrow our focus and our priorities, it guides us and keeps us … aligned with what our priorities are and where our pillars of interest lie,” he said.

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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