June 8 Connection Café Results in Three New Volunteer Working Groups to Act for BC’s Rural Islands
Café attendees included participants of the RIEP Forum Network—members, past attendees of RIEP Forum and Connection Café events —as well as new RIEP members, allies and guests. All gathered virtually to connect and reflect upon the outcomes of the recent 2023 Forum, and in particular to review and discuss three of the seven Resolutions developed during the 3-day gathering, during a recent Connection Café.
The 2023 Forum Resolutions were the result of collaboration by participants of Day 2 ‘Action Labs’ during the Forum, held in April on Gabriola Island. Action Lab topics included: Rural Island Housing Policy, Building Local Economic Capacity, Travel As A Force For Good, Climate Adaptation Practices, and Circular Economy How To’s.
Participants in the Connection Café set forward a path for activating the Resolutions, beginning with the creation of three volunteer-led Resolutions ‘Working Groups’ focused on Rural Housing Policy, Climate Adaptation & Mitigation, and Building Local Economic Capacity.
“Coming together as a network of communities to take collaborative action is what resulted in these calls for action”, said Francine Carlin, Chair and interim Executive Director of the Rural Islands Economic Partnership (RIEP). “The Connection Café was an important next step to launching the process for activating the Resolutions and moving them forward.”
Carlin said the Resolution Working Groups will come together to review, refine and propose next steps for activation with the intention of engaging island settler and Indigenous community partners, and for seeking an audience with local and provincial government bodies.
“The Resolutions not only describe the nature of the issues we face in very real terms, they go so far as to prescribe some possible solutions, and in language that’s compelling to islanders,” said Carlin. “We also believe these Resolutions will appeal to local and provincial government leaders and policymakers, and that they’re just as actionable as those voted on each year at the annual Union of BC Municipalities convention (UBCM) conference.”
Island residents, community organizations, community economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and representatives of island-based businesses and partner organizations interested in participating on one of the three RIEP Forum Resolution Working Groups—focused on Rural Housing Policy, Climate Adaptation & Mitigation, and Building Local Economic Capacity—can email firstname.lastname@example.org.