What is it?

The Speakers’ Series on Civic Leadership is a pilot initiative that will feature five learning sessions focused on the fundamentals of local governance and the competencies necessary to effectively serve the community as an elected official.

These sessions will provide an overview of the democratic and legislative principles underpinning local government in B.C. Participants will gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of local elected officials, the day-to-day duties and obligations of Council members in Nanaimo, and the importance of good relationships with various partners, stakeholders, colleagues and staff.

The overall objective is to better prepare candidates to take on the duties of an elected official, and to achieve better local governance for Nanaimo citizens.

Why do this?

These sessions are an opportunity for potential candidates to become more familiar with the serious role and high level of skills and competencies required to effectively serve the community as an elected official. These sessions are intended to help pre-candidates reflect on their readiness and commitment to undertake the duties of elected office, gain knowledge about local governance and to advance the learning and preparation required to ensure that they can effectively serve the community, if elected.

How will the sessions be structured?

The Civic Leadership series begins with an introductory session, followed by four learning sessions.  Participants will complete a self-assessment of their skills, experience and knowledge as part of the introductory session, where they will be guided through a discussion of the key competencies of effective councillors. The objective is to support potential candidates to evaluate their readiness to serve at the municipal level. In addition, the first session will provide an overview of the topics to be covered in the four subsequent sessions.  Registration for the introductory session, and completion of a self-assessment questionnaire is mandatory for all participants who wish to attend the remaining series of talks. Once completed, the self-assessment questionnaires are solely for participants’ use.

Each workshop will cover a theme or topic on local governance and the role of the elected official.  Sessions will begin with an instructional element of approximately 60-90 minutes, delivered by one or more subject-matter experts. Handouts and reference material will be provided to participants. There will be a short period for questions and answers following the lecture.

What topics will be covered?

  • Introductory Session (Course objectives, module outlines, self-assessment exercise);
  • The Day-to-Day Duties of a Council Member (Overview, decision-making process, council-staff relationship, planning and municipal finance);
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Officials (Authorities, powers, checks/balances, other levels of government, oath);
  • Outreach (Identifying stakeholders and partners, establishing shared vision, information sharing on a continuum, public engagement);
  • Enabling a Productive Council (Leadership skills, communications, managing differences and disagreements, co-creating shared purpose).

Who should attend?

The target audience for these sessions are eligible citizens who may be contemplating running in the municipal election in the Fall 2018.  The sessions are intended for pre-candidates who want to better understand whether they have the necessary competencies and commitment required to serve on Council and their roles and responsibilities as an elected municipal representative. Sessions will be available only to participants who do not currently or have not previously held public office within the previous 15 years.

When and where?

The Introductory session will be held on Tuesday, April 24  from 7-9 p.m. at Beban Park, Room 2. Registration for this session is mandatory in order to participate in all remaining workshops. For those unable to attend this session in person, they will still be required to complete a self-assessment questionnaire.

Subsequent sessions will be held over the following two weeks on May 1, 3, 7 and 9. All sessions begin at 7:00 p.m., and will be held at Beban Park, Room 1.

How do I register?

Participants can choose to attend all 5 sessions right away. Alternatively, participants can register for the Introductory Session, prior to registering for the subsequent four workshops.

April 9-20, 2018: To register for the Introductory Session visit: nanaimochamber.bc.ca.  Deadline for registration is April 20, 2018. Advance registration only – no registration at the door.  Cost: $20.

April 9-April 28: Registration in all subsequent workshops is only open to those who have registered for the introductory session and completed the self-assessment questionnaire. To register, visit:  nanaimochamber.bc.ca. Cost: $100 for all 4 workshops.

Who is sponsoring these sessions?

These sessions are being offered through a partnership of community groups and citizens who are committed to better local governance for Nanaimo and a positive outcome in the October 20, 2018 general municipal election. Partners include OurNanaimo, the Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Vancouver Island, and others.

Will you be using these sessions to screen candidates or create a slate?

No. The purpose of the Civic Leadership Series is to encourage and enable a higher quality candidate to run for office so that voters have better choices at the ballot, with the objective of improving the chances of positive and productive local governance for Nanaimo citizens.