RDMW Chair Andrew Hory (left) Presented Operations Manager Jeff Long with multiple awards earned va qualifications and for his high marks in the Local Government Administration Program at Capilano University. (North Island Gazette 2018 file photo)

RDMW Chair Andrew Hory (left) Presented Operations Manager Jeff Long with multiple awards earned va qualifications and for his high marks in the Local Government Administration Program at Capilano University. (North Island Gazette 2018 file photo)

RDMW Chair talks two years in office and what the future holds for the region

“Like every organization the RDMW has challenges…”

It’s been an interesting two years so far for Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW) chair Andrew Hory, who is also the director for Area C in Coal Harbour.

Hory agreed to an interview with the North Island Gazette to discuss the first half of the term and what will be coming up for the RDMW in the future.

Looking back, how was 2020 overall?

The first half of this term has come with many challenges – the two most obvious are a very long strike that was a difficult time for the entire region and then when that was finally over we all looked forward to a better 2020…

2020 stands out as a year of stress and challenge but I feel like the RDMW has done well in that time to continue its services uninterrupted and accessible – we have managed to continue and even thrive in many ways as we have adapted and improved operations but it is certainly true staff and directors are feeling the effects of the lockdown and a return to more normal operations will provide relief and some opportunities to recover.

What are some things you’re proud of that the RDMW has accomplished so far?

I am proud of a lot of the work the RDMW has done, improving its infrastructure often by thinking outside the obvious and running projects through existing management and service functions instead of farming them out to consultants, especially in ways that reduce green house gases contributing to climate change.

Coal Harbour fire hall for example joins the list of RDMW fire departments with a high efficiency heat pump instead of a propane furnace. There are a lot of examples like that and cumulatively they do two important things – they reduce cost of the service(s) and they reduce the carbon footprint of the RDMW to mitigate climate change and extreme weather that we are all seeing.

Looking forward, what does the RDMW have planned for the second half of the term?

Like every organization the RDMW has challenges and a great part of the effort in the second half of term will be related to improving the work spaces of the RDMW.

The RDMW Board applied for a grant to build a larger conference room – this is greatly needed to provide access for those with mobility issues and create a space more suited to respectful meetings between the RDMW and other levels of government, including the vital work of Reconciliation and welcoming First Nations to the table. If this grant is successful there will be a lot of disruption for staff and elected officials in the second half of this term but the result at the end of it will be very positive.

Some key management staff will be retiring before the end of term so filling those positions will be another major focus of the personnel committee and the board as a whole. Other improvements will be implementation of new software for some financial elements. A lot of this has been done with great effort by staff, and not without stress, but there are still a few projects ahead that should bring the rest of operations up in efficiency and transparency that is the goal.

What does being a North Island politician mean to you personally?

Ultimately as a politician this type of work is what gives satisfaction – not only making sure the day to day function of local government goes on and that vital systems do not falter – but making things better, improving how things work both in the physical spaces and the policy level.

The role of an elected official is not to do the hands on part but to have a vision and work with staff to create a direction and plan. On a personal level that is what has kept me committed to representing my community and the North Island – any organization will have challenges of one kind or another from time to time but improving the basic structure means meeting those challenges is easier.

As a director and for the last while as the chair that is what I have always tried to focus on, some things are routine and it would be easy to just get into a rhythm and tick over the meetings but I am glad to say I have not seen that happen – directors show up and the record of improvement I have seen personally over the last 10 years is substantial.

How tough has it been for the Mount Waddington region as a whole going through an eight-month logging strike and then getting hit by COVID-19 right after?

The North Island regional trends of declining population and employment and increasing service challenges that are highlighted but not created by the pandemic, are definitely a challenge going forward. However I am feeling quite optimistic at the moment, post pandemic is going to mean a lot of things in a lot of places but I see signs that the North Island will resurge and actually buck the trend of the last 20 years.

I look forward working toward that at the local government level and as a resident, I grew up here and am privileged to be able to pass that on to my children.

RELATED: Port Hardy mayor talks two years in office

RELATED: Port McNeill mayor talks two years in office

RELATED: Port Alice mayor talks two years in office

RELATED: Alert Bay mayor talks two years in office


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City CouncilCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Melissa Milligan is working to build a disc golf course in Port Hardy. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy’s disc golf survey results are in

138 people in total took the survey, with 94 per cent voting yes.

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Mya Servatius and Marilyn May handing out gift baskets to seniors. (Michelle Tremblay photo)
NISS students practice kindness by giving gifts to seniors

This project wasn’t part of a class at NISS, or for any extra credit.

Port Hardy Fire Rescue map of controlled burning.
Controlled burn happening this weekend on Highland Drive

No unauthorized persons, including media, will be permitted within the “Hot Zone”.

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read