Love it! Share it! Protect it!
It has been an honour to represent the community of Shawnigan Lake for the last year. As your Area Director I have learned a lot. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Shawnigan Lake again, if re-elected on October 20th. A successful Director strives to build community, create consensus and hear both sides of the story. It is a great role and am a creative entrepreneurial thinker with a “can do” attitude.
Our community misses out on many opportunities due to the fact that the 100k tones of contaminated fill still sits at the top of our watershed; it has to be removed. I have built an excellent working relationship with the Ministry of Environment Staff, our Shawnigan Research Group and our MLA (and mentor.) This ongoing issue is a priority for me. I am also concerned with supporting the preservation of our natural areas while thoughtfully developing our village, so the community can live and work locally.
Not only have I learned a lot about myself and the community, I have also learned that nothing gets done without funding. In order to have funding come back to our community, CVRD Board approval is required. Around the board table I have been your voice. I have demonstrated and earned the respect of the board which has resulted in bringing home funding to our community. Despite the challenges associated with non-regional functions, we were able to have an illegal garbage dumping campaign, $175k of regional support for our community centre and $10K of lab fees for our Shawnigan Research Team of Professionals to conduct water quality and sediment monitoring for contaminants in Shawnigan Creek and Lake. In addition, through ongoing work with Economic Development Cowichan we will receive support and funding for signage to support our village and local businesses in 2018/19. I have also just initiated a new policy framework for amenity contributions, to remove the subjectivity and improve the outcome for the community during a re-zoning (more to come on that.) I am also awaiting a review of extending the time between committee meetings and final decisions at the Board in consideration of a longer public input time period to help improve transparency.
Like you, I have just one vote for the referendum questions. Water and housing are extremely important for our area and the region. I know the people of Shawnigan care about each other, our local environment and the ability to have safe affordable housing for children, youth, families and seniors. Currently it is very difficult for youth and aging seniors to stay in Shawnigan Lake if they want smaller more affordable housing. With this in mind, I have also started a conversation on our zoning and bylaws in support of the housing crisis. I look forward to additional conversations on how Electoral Areas can play a role in creating the housing stock we need in our community by reviewing and modernizing some of our bylaws and zoning. If elected, I would like to start the modernization of our bylaws so that they reflect the way we want to live now versus 20 years ago
I have built significant momentum on a number of key issues and I hope I will be given the opportunity to continue with these initiatives and more over the next four years.
On October 20th, Vote for SIERRA ACTON.
Please get informed on the referendum questions; www.cvrd.bc.ca/drinkingwater & www.cvrd.bc.ca/housing
Nothing is more important than our health and access to excellent health care facilities is a very important part of that. In October 2016, the Cowichan Valley regional Hospital District finalized the purchase of three properties on Bell McKinnen Rd. Just recently the Concept Plan was approved by the Hospital Board for our new hospital, which is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2024. The next phase is to prepare a detailed business plan; this being the most important part of the planning process. It will engage stakeholders at all levels including planners, architects, engineers and other experts who will complete the detailed plans for the hospital. Business planning will also include a review of the location choice as well as a final decision regarding the selection and recommendations for placement of the hospital within the selected site. Without a doubt, improvements to our health care and support services are needed in the valley. I feel very blessed for our community that it’s on the way.
The Community and Shawnigan Lake School have a long history of collaborating and sharing this community and it’s LAKE. They stood with community and aided our battle to stop the contaminated soil dump and, most recently, provided a professional plan to help manage the milfoil as a community. I met the new Head Master, Larry Lamont, at the end of August. He has a great sense of humour and complements former Headmaster Robertson’s philosophies, especially his appreciation for working with the community. Headmaster Lamont is open to even more outreach and sharing of resources in the community, which is an exciting opportunity for all of us. I look forward to our next meeting, once he is more settled in the role. Unfortunately there has been some recent confusion about the School, Rowing Canada and their RFP for a new National Training Centre. The school has no intention of suggesting that they (or anyone else) have priority over any other lake users, they simply hope to continue to enjoy the lake in a respectful and courteous manner as we all have for decades. However, if Rowing Canada continues to train here, it would now be official as part of three facilities that Team Canada calls home. Personally I love seeing people enjoy the outdoors and the lake all year round and I wish Shawnigan Lake School much success in sharing their rowing facility and our community.
I will be voting Yes on election day, October 20th, on the referendum questions presented on the voting ballot. One, an asset important to all of us, is clean water. The other is Affordable housing, which is another necessity and can potentially affect us all. Please learn more about the referendum questions at www.cvrd.bc.ca/drinkingwater & www.cvrd.bc.ca/housing
Another initiative that is underway is the updating of the Solid Waste Management Plan, which is a regional project that is looking at future Municipal Solid Waste requirements based on regulatory requirements, best management practices and local needs. This project includes an interactive planning process with a Public Advisory Committee, a Board Oversight Committee and a technical committee. The CVRD team is in the process of engaging with the public to receive your feedback, which will continue until Sept 15th. There are three Open Houses scheduled to gather feedback from the public, the closest being at Cobble Hill on Sept 11th. Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Enjoy your fall everyone! Please connect and share your views on many important issues like the referendum questions and the Solid Waste Management Plan.
Director Area B