Key river stakeholder left out of symposium

Re: River ideas flow at symposium, Sept. 15.

To the Editor,

Re: River ideas flow at symposium, Sept. 15.

I was delighted when I saw that Nanaimo and Area Land Trust is sponsoring a symposium concerning the waters of the Nanaimo River.

It will apparently include some presentations, followed by break-out sessions to which stakeholders have been invited “…to help establish a protection strategy.”

Then my delight changed to dismay. I saw that the list of ‘stakeholders’ does not include the North Cedar Improvement District. I phoned the NCID office and found that neither the executive director nor anyone else in NCID has been consulted  or even notified of, or given an invitation to, the symposium.

At least 5,000 residents in and around Cedar are entirely dependent for their water on NCID and the aquifer adjacent to the Nanaimo River.

If ‘protection’ of the Nanaimo River is to be considered fairly, it would seem that NALT and the other organizers would have thought that the NCID would be among the first to be invited to participate, to share their considerable fund of knowledge and expertise, and their thoughts on protection for everyone’s benefit.

Or is the intention to provide a voice for those who would like to draw more water from the river and the aquifer (for example, the city, and various developers), and to disregard the residents who will be most affected?

Bruce Partridge

Nanaimo