COVID-19

Page last updated on May 5, 2020 at 1:00PM

Lastest News

April 22, 2020 4:00 PM - On April 15, 2020, Council Approved the 2020 Budget and property tax rates. This February, Council had approved, in principle, a 4.03% tax increase for 2020. However, finalizing the tax rates and budget were interrupted in March by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, staff took the delay in finalizing the budget to analyze the impacts of closing municipal facilities due to COVID-19, and revised the operating and capital budgets, as well as the proposed tax increase. 

In order to facilitate a lower property tax increase, staff recommended removing some captial projects from the 2020 budget, for a net decrease in capital costs of $824,000. This, in conjunction with the $644,000 reduction in revenue and operating expenditures, allowed staff to arrive at a 1.78% proposed tax increase. This number was presented to Council on April 15, at North Cowichan's first electronic Special Council Meeting. Here, Council made some additional cuts to their operating budget and took a voluntary 6-month 10% pay decrease to further reduce the tax increase.

The final net property tax increase for 2020 is 1.41%

News Releases:

Department-Specific Inquiries

Staff in the following departments are working diligently to respond to customer inquiries:

Bylaw Services

Bylaw enforcement continues to respond to and investigate bylaw enforcement complaints, prioritized by their risk to public health and safety. Inquiries and complaints may be directed to Bylaw@northcowichan.ca

Parks & Trails

Parks and trails remain open to the public. However, playgrounds and park washroom facilities are closed*, effective 4:30 pm March 20, 2020. *with the exception of the Crofton public washroom, Mount Tzouhalem, Maple Mountainm and the Waterwheel Park public washroom in Chemainus - these are open daily from 8am - 6pm (and closed intermittently for cleaning).

Council Meetings & Public Hearings

On April 29, 2020, Council decided to resume Regular Council meetings beginning on May 6. These meetings will take place electronically. All other meetings, including Public Hearings and Committee of the Whole Meetings, are cancelled until further notice. 

Input about an agenda item?

Public Input takes place near the beginning of each Council Meeting. Because residents are unable to attend meetings in person at this time, input and comments about agenda items can be emailed to info@northcowichan.ca up to 30 minutes before the start of each meeting. The input will be circulated to Mayor and Council, and also read aloud during this portion of the meeting.

Questions about the Council meeting?

Question Period takes place near the end of each Council Meeting. A 10-minute recess will take place to give the public an opportunity to submit their questions by email regarding the business of the Council meeting (to the email address provided on the screen during the meeting). The Council meeting will resume after the 10-minute recess, and the Mayor will read out the questions in the order they are received.

Public Engagement

Public engagement processes currently underway will be paused for 90 days. Staff and Council will re-evaluate resuming engagement before the end of the 90-day period if it can proceed in a safe, fulsome, and inclusive way. 

Municipal Hall

Municipal Hall and the Municipal Operations Building (located at 7030 Trans-Canada Highway) is closed to the public. Please call our general information phone line 250.746.3100, or send us an email info@northcowichan.ca to find out how you can continue doing business with us and how staff can support you during this unique and challenging situation.

Recreation Facilities

In accordance with the direction from the Federal and Provincial Governments, and Public Health Officer, all recreational facillities in North Cowichan closed on March 16, 2020. This includes Fuller Lake Arena and Cowichan Aquatic Centre.

Prevention

The BC Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization report that hand washing is the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A reminder to our staff and residents:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick; 
  • cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and not your hands;
  • stay home if you are sick, especially if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, to avoid spreading the illness to others; and
  • practice social distancing (e.g., keeping a two metre distance and avoid touching others).

North Cowichan has also increased the frequency of cleaning at all Municipal facilities, with an alcohol-based cleaner.

BC HealthLink Information Line

In an effort to ease the burden on HealthLink 811, the Province of B.C. has set up a dedicated COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319.

For more information about North Cowichan's response to COVID-19,
please contact:
T  250-746-3100
E  info@northcowichan.ca