Mayor’s report: Wood award, Terry Fox Run, Kaatza gala highlight October

Weather notwithstanding, the Terry Fox Run this year was a great success

Vancouver Island Regional Library was honoured with the Community Award of Merit by the Canadian Wood Council at the UBCM conference held in September of this year. The award was in recognition of Vancouver Island Regional Library’s use of B.C. wood in the construction of its local library here in Lake Cowichan. It was a recognition for incorporating principles of B.C.’s Wood First Program which promotes and supports the innovation in manufacturing and the increased use of wood in the building design and construction of the library. This program ensures that the province’s forest industry is kept vibrant and globally competitive, providing economic benefits to B.C. residents. Lake Cowichan’s representative on the library board, Councillor Lorna Vomacka, accepted the award on behalf of the library board.

Weather notwithstanding, the Terry Fox Run this year was a great success for the volunteers and organizers of this annual event. Participation was up, with more runners and walkers and the money raised was an all-time high. A big shout out and thanks must go to the many volunteers and to Jakes on the Lake restaurant for providing the delicious hamburgers for all of the participants. Community involvement in this event continues to grow.

The 40th anniversary gala for the Kaatza Museum was a wonderful event recognizing both the remarkable history of Lake Cowichan and the many volunteers who have transformed the museum into the jewel it has become. Three people were recognized at the gala by the Kaatza Historical Society with Diamond Patron Awards and these were Don Gordon (or his over 40 years working on museum programs), Bill Gibson (for his contributions for his two historical books), and Al Lundgren (for the IWA collection and scanning of the Wilmer Gold negatives). Congratulations to the three of you and special congratulations and thank you to ALL of the volunteers who have helped make the Kaatza Museum become the special place that it is today.

Exceptional turnouts and participation for local events are becoming the norm lately as citizens are becoming far more engaged in their community. This was evident at the Lake Cowichan Ladies Hospital Auxiliary where its fashion show was sold out. Everyone had a great time and this successful fundraiser event raised over $6,500 for the maternity ward at the Cowichan District Hospital. Well done organizers and everyone who attended the event spoke highly of it.

With lake levels up and rainfalls forecast for the next two weeks the boat lock gates will be in fully raised position and the weir will be shut down for the wet season. The lake levels might be at a safe level now but to safeguard against future low water level concerns, Catalyst Paper is being proactive by submitting an application that will allow it to pump water from the lake if the need for that should arise in 2016 or 2017. Part of this application involves community consultation and that will began with an informational open house at Centennial Hall on Nov. 5.

We have seen a very positive local move to reduce garbage since we began the separation of our organic waste from our mainstream waste which was implemented at the beginning of the year. The data compiled from January to September 2015 with the implementation of organics pickup show some of the following numbers:

• Overall garbage collection has seen a reduction of 15 per cent from 2014 to 2015;

• We have collected 332,900 kilo grams to date compared to 389,370 for this same time frame in 2014;

• 28 per cent, or 93,810 kg have been organic waste and the other 72 per cent or 239,090 kg of garbage;

• July was the heaviest month for pick-up with 13,400 kg accounting for organics and 36,190 kg for garbage.

It appears that our residents are making a real concerted effort to separate their garbage, organics, and recyclables which can only have a major positive impact on the environment. Thank you for your outstanding efforts and let’s continue to reduce waste.

Saturday, Nov. 14 should be an exciting day as we witness the much anticipated totem pole raising at Ts’uubaa-asatx Square.

This event is to occur at 10 a.m. Our neighbouring First Nation has worked extremely hard in preparing for this cultural presentation that will truly represent its pride and rich history in the Cowichan Lake area.