Council Matters for February 20, 2019

Council met for about three hours on February 20, 2019. Here are some highlights from that meeting.

Of note, every member of Council wore a pink shirt to this meeting, in acknowledgement of Pink Shirt Day, which is coming up on February 27. Pink Shirt Day was started by two Canadian high school students in 2007 to raise awareness about bullying in schools, workplaces, homes, and online. As an organization and as Council, North Cowichan participates in Pink Shirt Day as a symbol of the importance of being a respectful workplace. 

(L-R: Councillor Sawrie, Mayor Siebring, Councillor Justice, Councillor Toporowski, Councillor Douglas, Councillor Manhas, Councillor Marsh)

Council began by receiving the RCMP’s quarterly report for the period Oct – Dec 2018. During the quarter, calls for service were up over this period last year, and total calls for 2018 were 8.5% higher than total calls for 2017. Across the entire area served by the North Cowichan-Duncan Detachment, approximately 48% of calls responded to were in North Cowichan. Of these, 14% of calls were in Chemainus, 8% were in Crofton, 8% were in Maple Bay, 60% were in “other areas,” and 10% were not specific to an area. The 60% of calls originating from “other areas” of North Cowichan largely refers to the urban area surrounding the City of Duncan. An additional North Cowichan RCMP position was recently given full approval and will be staffed shortly. The full quarterly report can be reviewed on pp. 22-39 of the agenda.

Next was a delegation from Joanna Sales who represented Broombusters Invasive Plant Society. Ms. Sales talked about the damage caused by Scotch Broom, and what can be done to control or eliminate the proliferation of the plant. Broombusters has active volunteers in North Cowichan who are helping to control the plant, and we thank those for their work and to Ms. Sales for her presentation and update.

Three Zoning Amendment Bylaws were next on the agenda. The first for 6293 Westlock Road, which will facilitate a 2 lot subdivision, was adopted. The second, for 3042 Henry Road, which will permit a second, detached residential building, was also adopted. The third Zoning Amendment Bylaw was in regards to allowing Cannabis Production Facilities in the Industrial Light (I1) and Industrial Heavy (I2) zones. This was also adopted by Council.

Next up was New Business where Council addressed two motions that resulted from our discussions around organizational capacity and the Council strategic plan. Council directed staff to prepare a report recommending that a new staff position be created in 2019 that will focus on addressing the climate and environment-related strategic priorities of Council. Council also directed staff to immediately begin preparation on a report that will outline the process to update the Official Community Plan.

Thank you for reading and staying informed! Our next Council meeting is March 6, 2019.

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan