The Columbia Basin Trust is expecting to more than double its outlays to communities in the coming years, and it is embarking on a year-long tour of basin communities to seek feedback on what it should do with the money.
“We will be going from approximately $22 million, the expenditures for delivery of benefits this year, to about $55 million in a three to five year time period,” Kidney Gosal, the director of special initiatives for CBT, told council last week. “That is a significant jump in resources for a region of 185,000 people.”
The windfall comes as the trust celebrates it’s 20th anniversary. Representatives from the CBT will be holding an open house in Revelstoke on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 4–8 p.m. to get feedback from people here on what to do with the windfall.
“We’ll be undertaking approximately 30 community meetings across the basin over a period of six months,” said Gosal. “This community consultation, this engagement, which is a year-long process, will lead to some substantial outputs that will articulate what we are going to do for the next five years and 20 years in terms of supporting communities. It’s fundamentally important to us.”
The CBT is calling its year-long public engagement process “Our Trust, Our Future.” They have set up a website dedicated to the process at ourtrustourfuture.cbt.org.
The Revelstoke open house will start with a drop-in session, followed by a sit-down dinner where participants will be set up in groups to look at certain questions, explained CBT spokesperson Rachel Lucas.
What is the process about? The CBT provided this backgrounder:
1. What is the purpose of this engagement?
To seek input from a diverse cross section of Basin residents to help inform the Trust’s priority setting, decision-making, planning and delivery mechanisms.
2. What are the goals of the engagement process?
— Goal 1: Reconnect and renew the Trust’s relationship with Basin residents.
— Goal 2: Identify Strategic Priorities based on resident input.
— Goal 3: Identify options to address Strategic Priorities into the future.
— Goal 4: Create action plans based on the above.
3. Why is the Trust engaging now?
— We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Trust in 2015;
— We are renewing our strategic priorities in 2015; and
— We expect our revenues to double to $55 million in the next three to five years.
4. What is the Trust specifically looking for input on?
— We are asking communities where they are focusing their efforts, where they need support, what is most important to them in their community and for their ideas about working together now and in the future.
— This input will help us determine where to focus our efforts and how we can continue to support communities now and into the future.
— The Trust is not soliciting input or considering changes to foundational documents such as the Columbia Basin Trust Act, or operational policies and procedures governing the Trust’s investment activities.
5. What is the process?
— Phase One (Sep 2014 – Feb 2015) focuses on connecting with residents Basin-wide to have a conversation about their priorities and ways the Trust can help now and into the future. It will include comprehensive engagement opportunities, both in-person and online, including community workshops and meetings with community groups.
— Phase Two (Mar – Jun 2015) brings groups together on a regional level to narrow down the specific priorities and build recommendations to renew the Trust’s strategic priorities and how we work with communities.
— Phase Three (Jul – Oct 2015) is an internal phase to build action plans for the Trust to implement the recommendations. These may address potential changes to our strategic planning processes, decision making, delivery models, organizational structure, etc.
6. What are the deliverables?
— Engagement Report will summarize the engagement process, input received from Basin residents, and recommendations on how the Trust will support communities now and into the future.
— Renewed Columbia Basin Management Plan Strategic Priorities (2016-2020)
— Action Plans will describe how the Trust will operationalize the key recommendations and input it has received from Basin residents.
7. How can residents get involved and have their say?
— Drop-in community workshops (see the schedule below)
— Meetings in smaller communities around the Basin
— Visiting the Trust booth in community public spaces
— Hosting a self-directed discussion
— Online: ourtrustourfuture.cbt.org
— Mail: Attn: Our Trust, Our Future, 300 – 445 13th Avenue, Castlegar, BC V1N 1G1
— Email: firstname.lastname@example.org