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$715,000 safe restart grant to cover information technology, emergency planning

·1 min read

A $715,000 provincial COVID-19 Safe Restart grant will be distributed across five different areas of Regional District of Nanaimo operations.

The RDN board of directors passed a motion on June 8 to distribute $65,563 to recreation, which is the additional shortfall facing the Oceanside Arena in 2021; $439,437 to information technology for cyber attack protection; $35,000 to set up three portable washrooms for transit serviceperson drivers; $25,000 to upgrade the RDN administration building’s main floor reception with safety barriers and to limit public access in the building; and $150,000 for emergency planning to develop “corporate business continuity plans to ensure appropriate plans are in place in response to various situations which the pandemic may produce,” a staff report says.

These plans are to help departments maintain operations during emergency situations such as water mains breaking or when buildings cannot be occupied as has been much of the case during the pandemic, Daniel Pearce, general manager of transportation and emergency services, told the board. “COVID has definitely brought it more to attention, but business continuity planning is very much for overall emergency planning function.”

In March, the province announced the additional operating grants for regional districts on top of what was distributed to districts and municipalities in November 2020. At that time, the RDN received $1.169 million. In total, the province has distributed $540 million in safe restart grants to local governments since the start of the pandemic.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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