This is an important time to take action and stay informed. In the next few months many issues will be brought forward by various levels of government for the communities discussion and input. Regionally, the CVRD will be reaching out for input on a variety of initiatives such as water management and housing. In addition, the Province will be sharing their plans for the contaminated Soil facility, the Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment and Policing in South Cowichan.
The Province is working on a closure plan for SIA that may include leaving more than 100K tones of contaminated soil in our watershed. Love of community and our watershed will give us the strength for this last push to get it removed. There are three ways you can help:
1. Attend a Panel discussion given by the Shawnigan Research Group on Monday April 9th at 7pm at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre
2. Write to Minister Heyman and Premier Horgan to “do the right thing”
3. Attend the “Rally for Removal” on April 20th @ 7:30am-9am at Stebbing’s Rd and Shawnigan Lake Road.
To stay up to date, double check that you are on the Shawnigan Residence Association (www.thesra.ca) mailing list so you can stay up to date on those plans... now would be a good time to start working on some clever signs.
“Affordable housing” “The Missing Middle” and “Housing Strategy” are one of the many terms being discussed lately around housing at the Provincial level and at the Regional District. Last Month I was fortunate to hear Minister Selena Robertson present her commitment to Housing in BC. Her mandate to Protect housing for British Columbians was very clear and thought provoking. She acknowledged that the local governments have to play a role since they are closest to the communities that they serve and have a better understanding of the issues. Her government has committed $5M over the next 3 years to help local governments gather the data and create strategies around the housing shortage. Housing Cowichan has partnered with the CVRD and will be looking to the public for input and support in the creation of a tax requisition. This is crucial in order to be ready for the significant funding promised by the federal government.
Thank you again Shawnigan Lake School for hiring an environmental firm to research and write a Milfoil study and Plan. Currently the CVRD is reviewing it and will present it to the Board along with the invasive species plan for consideration. The community is all set to work together on what seems to be a daunting task. Stay tuned more to come.
I met with our local RCMP and their Provincial Representatives this month. Locally I met with Cpl. Dave Williams, who had a few reminders to pass on to community: lock your cars, report suspicious people (like someone knocking on your door pretending to look for someone), lock your house up, and don’t consider a comment on Facebook a report to the police. He also advised that if you suspect an illegal grow op, report it to the office to open a file and the RCMP will check with Health Canada. Cpl. Williams confessed that the biggest challenge to our local detachment is paperwork. This is where the Province can help. South Cowichan Directors and local RCMP just recently met with the Provincial RCMP and the Provincial Government. The province has designated $2-3M for renovations to the Shawnigan Lake Detachment and are hopeful that they will work with North Cowichan by sharing space and resources. Bottom line is, we will have more service coverage and keep our officers locally. The province will communicate out the whole plan in a few months and will look for communities input on design and planning.
I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with the community and hearing all your input in the months to come.