Lessons Learned – the “Now What”

A short while ago, Steve Corrie hosted a discussion on ‘Lessons Learned’ from the SmartCentre brouhaha on the floodplain. Click the link below to get the Voice of the Shuswap podcast.

Steve Corrie interviews Tim Lavery, Louise Wallace Richmond and Ian Wickett on his show The Core of the Matter, aired April 22, 2014 Steve with Tim, Louise and Ian

As so often happens with a good conversation and a floodplain, things meander a bit. Perhaps we’ll get another crack at more of those lessons learned.

Check it out.

Interestingly, one of the biggest lessons learned has just recently become public with the BC Ombudsperson report, Striking a Balance: The Challenges of Using a Professional Reliance Model in Environmental Protection – British Columbia’s Riparian Areas Regulation. 

The need for Salmon Arm citizen’s to undertake research and maximize riparian compliance by prodding provincial and local governments was at least partially behind the report. This is a huge ‘Lesson Learned’. From that report:

A group of concerned citizens contacted our office with a complaint about the process followed by the ministry in approving a RAR assessment report. The report determined the streamside protection and enhancement area (SPEA) applicable to a proposed large commercial development. At the time, it was ministry practice to approve assessment reports before allowing local governments to proceed with the development permit process. The ministry identified problems with the assessment report and required the QEP to amend and re-submit the report three times. While the fourth version of the assessment report was, in the ministry’s opinion, correct on paper, the ministry did not visit the proposed development site before approving the report.

The citizens were concerned about the impact of the proposed development on important salmon habitat. They obtained and reviewed a copy of the assessment report from their local government, and questioned whether the QEP had correctly followed the RAR’s assessment methods. Some of the citizens had training in biology, which increased their ability to understand and respond to the report. The citizens contacted the ministry with their concerns, and, as a result, the ministry, for the first time in the history of the RAR, hired an outside consultant to review the QEP’s work. The ministry ultimately required the QEP to submit a fifth assessment report. This resulted in a reduction of the area available for the development from more than 24 hectares to approximately 6.5 hectares.

See the upcoming post Who’s minding the ‘Riparian Regulations” store?

Author: Tim Lavery

Aim High Salmon Arm It matters

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