Our Community: What Do We Value?

Places to Gather

Our parks, trails, community centres, and firehalls allow us to come together and connect with one another as neighbours fostering friendship, understanding and belonging. We are incredibly fortunate to have dedicated and skilled people looking after these places. Our continued support means a healthier, safer, more enjoyable place for everyone.

Our Water

Most years, our salmon runs rely on volunteers spending hundreds of hours rescuing salmon fry stranded in drying side channels of the Cowichan River. The Koksilah River, that runs through the heart of Cowichan Station has at times been less than knee deep.  Residents are regularly asked to significantly reduce their water use. There is no doubt that climate change is upon us.  From floods to fires to heat domes to smoky skies, things have changed substantially since 2014.   It has always been important to consider the watershed as a whole system, to understand how each part functions in that system to filter and store water, purify the air, sequester carbon and moderate the climate.  Every year it becomes more critical to consider the whole watershed system in order to carefully plan land uses that protect both the quantity and quality of water.

125a.jpg
IMAG1148.jpg

Paths that Connect Us

As citizens try to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their health and the planet's health by walking and cycling, we need some of our hard earned tax dollars to come back to us in road upgrades that will make all modes of transportation safer. In the CVRD Electoral Areas, the Province has jurisdiction over roads.  Lobbying them to ensure our roads are safe for pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles has to be a priority. Support for hiking trails and paths is also key for connecting us, adding to wellness and to the preservation of the wild places all life depends on.

IMG_0724.JPG

Focused Development

The CVRD has been working on the Harmonization and Modernization of an Official Community Plan for the CVRD Electoral Areas. This is a big undertaking and will provide the foundation for making wise land use decisions in our rapidly changing world. Rural areas are not only beautiful green spaces, they are essential to the health of all life. Focusing new growth in urban areas allows more cost effective services while preserving farm and forest lands. The Agricultural Land Reserve has helped protect farmland, yet forested lands do not have the same protection: we must plan carefully to keep our rural character.

IMG_0304.JPG

Emergency Preparedness

As I write this, what has been a mainly smoke free summer, seems to have turned.  A sudden fire in Washington State has much of the Island in a haze.  In recent years, we have had smoke filled skies that have made recreating in our natural spaces, difficult to impossible at times.  And the Province is now requiring groundwater licenses for wells used for non-domestic purposes.  Less water in summer, more flooding in winter is our new normal.  Preparedness at home is important; neighbours talking about risks and how they can support each other in an emergency and supporting our local fire departments, stocking up on emergency supplies and making a household plan can reduce the potential for tragedy.  Let’s be ready!  

First Nations Reconciliation

IMG_0190.JPG

'I tst sq'uqip 'u tun'a kweyul 'i 'u tun'a S-Quwutsun'a'lh stl'ulnup.

"We are gathered on the territory belonging to the Cowichan people"

        

I have learned a little of the traditional language, Hul’qu’min’num,  during my local government service.  It is a wonderful introduction to the culture of the Cowichan People and a great privilege to learn from Elders who are committed to keeping their language alive and welcoming of others to join in the process of reconciliation with them. Reconciliation for our part is building authentic relationships with First Peoples, which leads to trust -  a journey that will take commitment and time from us all

EDGAR'S DOOR_edited.jpg