Regional District of Nanaimo is set to enter into a new mutual aid agreement with other regional districts and municipalities for wastewater and water services. (File photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo is set to enter into a new mutual aid agreement with other regional districts and municipalities for wastewater and water services. (File photo)

COVID-19: RDN to create new mutual aid agreements for water services

New deal will ensure water services will continue during pandemic

  • May. 11, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The Regional District of Nanaimo is establishing a new mutual aid agreement with neighbouring regional districts and municipalities to ensure wastewater and drinking water services are maintained during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

This component is currently not included in the RDN’s pre-existing Response Agreement and Mutual Aid Agreements.

Last March 26, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has enacted a ministerial order that requires local authorities to enter into mutual aid agreements with bordering regional districts and member municipalities.

The participants that will be asked to take part in the mutual aid agreement include Cowichan Valley Regional District, Comox Valley Regional District, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, City of Nanaimo, District of Lantzville, City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach.

The signatories to the agreement will provide them the ability to call for other jurisdictions to come to their aid if their own resources are overwhelmed during COVID-19.

The significant components of the agreement are:

• Local resources, including contractors, shall be utilized before seeking mutual aid.

• Payment for emergency services under the mutual aid will be on a cost recovery basis and will not include markups for overhead or profit.

• Most specialized equipment will be provided with an operator to ensure adequate familiarity and certification to operate.

• Resources will only be made available if they are not required by their primary jurisdiction.

• Each signatory agrees to indemnify the other for any damage or claims of any nature due to any act done in good faith pursuant to the Mutual Aid Agreement.

The RDN board agreed unanimously at its meeting on April 28 to enter into mutual aid agreements with neighbouring regional districts and member municipalities.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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