Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 15, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why North Vancouver, Corporation of the District of was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
- District of North Vancouver helps employees balance personal and professional commitments with a number of flexible working arrangements, including flexible hours, telecommuting, a 35-hour work week (with full pay) and a formal earned days off program -- the organization also encourages employees to put their health first with up to 20 paid sick days annually
- District of North Vancouver supports ongoing employee development through a variety of in-house training programs as well as tuition subsidies for courses both related and not directly related to their current position
- District of North Vancouver employees can plan securely for the future with a defined benefit pension plan and retirement planning assistance
North Vancouver District keeps nature accessible
If you lived in or near the Corporation of the District of North Vancouver (DNV) when COVID-19 changed everything, and especially if you were a lover of the outdoors, you may well have felt grateful for the many parks, trails and natural attractions in the municipality.
Among spots offering old-growth trees, ocean and/or mountains, there was Lynn Canyon, which offers meandering hiking trails and views of canyon waterfalls, or Cates Park/Whey-ah-Wichen, featuring six kilometres of waterfront trails, or Grouse Mountain, with its famous Grouse Grind trail.
The DNV was aware of the importance of such places, and it applied its strategy of being nimble in the face of the pandemic to how it managed such attractions.
“The number of local people who started to visit our parks increased exponentially, so we needed to re-deploy staff and provide additional resources to keep parks and trails maintained, and to sometimes increase the hours they were open from dawn to dusk,” says Saira Walker, the DNV’s manager of human resources. “We heard from the community that that was very much appreciated.”
In general, says Walker, the DNV faced the challenges of COVID-19 by quickly becoming more innovative. “The ability of our staff to come up with different ways of delivering the same services was remarkable. They were able to pivot very quickly, and it was a surprise to us that essentially our service levels did not go down and in some cases actually improved.”
An example: the DNV altered property tax penalty structures to minimize the impact on house-holds, extended deadlines for business taxes and provided multiple ways to pay. But it also recognized that a vulnerable part of the community wasn’t able to pay online. “So,” says Walker, “we actually opened up our municipal hall in a limited way so people could come in and pay their taxes.” And public information meetings went virtual to encourage community participation.
The DNV was also quick to deal with the needs of staff. “Our highly educated management team had a well-situated plan prior to COVID-19,” says firefighter Ryan McMurray, “and we were able to maintain community response because we already had adequate personal protective equipment, plus a surplus to keep the community prepared. Many other departments across B.C. experienced hardship in acquiring PPE.”
Overall, McMurray appreciates the opportunities he’s had to acquire a range of skills, including emergency medical responder, as a DNV employee. “If you’re willing to put in the work, there are huge opportunities here.”