It’s the end of another year, and the beginning of a new mandate at the SLRD.
With the 2022 General Local Elections behind us, the SLRD welcomed its new Board in November. Most Directors returned to the SLRD Board table, but, there have also been some changes – not only are there new faces, but the Board also grew in size, with a third director from the District of Squamish rounding out the now 11-member Board of Directors.
With a new Board, comes a new mandate. We took some time in December to roll up our sleeves to begin the strategic planning process, and this work will continue in the New Year, as we come together as a new Board, to confirm our priorities for this next term, and communicate that with the public.
As I look forward to the work that is ahead of us, I also find myself reflecting on work that has been done. We’ve moved the dial on some previous priorities, and had many achievements in 2022: the launch of a free FireSmart program in Electoral Areas A, B and C, and the District of Lillooet, initiating an Official Community Plan review for Electoral Area A, the continued partnership with WildSafeBC to deliver community awareness and education programs throughout the region, the implementation of a new emergency alert notification system, administering the Pemberton and District Initiative Fund to support recreation, social, cultural and economic development for Pemberton and Electoral Area C, Britannia Beach Play Park upgrades, the adoption of a paid maternity and parental leave policy for elected officials and the opening of the new Pemberton Transfer Station, under an exciting partnership with Lil’wat Construct Enterprises – to name just a few.
Of course, a big part of this last term was spent navigating our way through a pandemic – something none of us ever expected. And while this brought with it many challenges, it also propelled forward the opportunity to provide greater access to SLRD Board and Committee meetings. Since the pandemic, these meetings have been livestreamed, with the recordings available on the SLRD website. This has improved transparency with the community, and is something that will continue; in 2023, we will look to further improvements on how we engage with the community.
As 2022 draws to a close, on behalf of the Board, I’d like to express my deepest appreciation for the staff at the SLRD for the work they do for our communities and constituents.
Not unlike any other region in the province, there are big challenges ahead for the SLRD; we are committed to working together, for the betterment of the region, and we look forward to the hard work ahead.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District