Council Matters for September 1, 2021

Council met for about four hours during our Regular Council meeting on September 1, 2021. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

During my Mayor’s report, I thanked Councillor Rosalie Sawrie for acting as mayor while I was on vacation, including as part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s regional emergency operations centre during the Copper Canyon wildfire response. I also thanked all the fire firefighters, both here and around the province, who are working incredibly hard to keep us safe, and are giving up their time away from their families. I had an enjoyable holiday, but did participate in an important conference call with coastal mayors on state of pulp and paper mills and the current fibre supply issues.

Inspector Chris Bear presented the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Detachment’s quarterly report for April to June 2021. He reports that most property crime is down, however calls related to sexual offences, mental health, shoplifting, and motor vehicle collisions with injuries were up. He also presented the detachment’s 2021-2022 Annual Performance Plan (APP). This plan was presented in May, but at the time Council postponed consideration until after the completion of a GAP analysis respecting RCMP service. Since this year is more than half over, Council approved the APP for this year, and has signaled that some of the items identified in the GAP analysis might be considered for inclusion in next year’s performance plan.

CVRD Emergency Program Coordinator April Diver, together with Brian Carruthers, Chief Administrative Officer, and John Elzinga, GM Community Services provided a presentation on the Regional Emergency Response Program. The presentation included results of a review of emergency response across the region. Council then voted to participate in a single regional Emergency Management Organization which will be established in a phased approach by the CVRD.

A Zoning Amendment Bylaw (6353 Genoa Bay Road) was reconsidered for first and second readings. The bylaw would allow a secondary dwelling unit at the property, and after some discussion, the motion passed and will now move to public hearing.

The Fire Protection Bylaw was referred back to staff for some amendments and housekeeping adjustments to wording.

The 2020 Community Wildfire Protection Plan was adopted. This plan updates a 2007 plan and identifies necessary measures and actions that will result in reducing the likelihood and impact of wildfires on property, critical infrastructure, and future development.

Council voted to contribute $2,000 to the M'akola Housing Society for the Every Child Matters March taking place on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2021. The contribution will go toward costs such as traffic control and flaggers. It is planned that participants will gather at 9am at Vancouver Island University and the walk starts at 9:30. The route winds through North Cowichan’s South End, through Duncan, and ends at the Cowichan Tribes soccer fields where participants will gather, sing, and share stories.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. Note that this meeting is not on our usual day of the week due to impacts from the annual UBCM convention.

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117