It looks like the November 19 election won’t be so boring, after all.
Sparing the Cowichan Lake area an uncontested November 19 election, Pat Weaver is running against incumbent director Klaus Kuhn for the Youbou/Meade Creek (Area I) director’s seat.
Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls and the Town of Lake Cowichan’s current elected officials are all in by acclamation.
“I thought of it four years ago during the last election, then decided to run in the town,” Weaver said, of her decision to run now.
Further sparking her decision to run this time around has been what she perceives as a lack of proper representation at the Cowichan Valley Regional District board table.
“I don’t think we have enough representation from Area I,” she said. “I think we need a stronger voice at the table.”
When asked just what she means by Area I not having a strong enough voice at the board table, Weaver sighed and said that she didn’t want to run a smear campaign against her opponent.
After a pause, she added, “You have to sit at the table and be accountable for your community.”
Kuhn said that he’s only missed one board meeting near Christmas, when he was out-of-town visiting family.
As for committee meetings, he said; “I was on a lot of committees this term, and you have to choose when they overlap.”
He’d check the agendas beforehand to make sure he chose the most locally pertinent meeting to attend.
Near the top of Weaver’s list of priorities will be in dealing with the various issues surrounding Cowichan Lake and the local watershed.
A board member of the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society, she’s been keeping up to date on watershed issues.
“I think it’s time we find a way to prevent the sewage from going into the lake,” she said, of her area’s out-dated septic systems.
She’s not sure how multi-million dollar sewer systems will be afforded, though it’s well worth looking into, she said.
Kuhn has similar interests, having helped form the Stewardship Society.
“I’m going to fight for our lake,” he said. “The lake, I think, is our biggest asset. It needs to be protected. There’s relentless pressure from users and people clearing the lakeshore.”
Kuhn recently had his resolution endorsed by the Union of BC Municipalities, which would serve to encourage the provincial government to give the regional district and municipalities more assistance in protecting of various watershed issues.
“We need the funding, and we need the legal clout,” he said.
It is on this page that the two candidates appear to be on the same page.
“We need to get more regulations out. The bylaws are there, but we have to enforce them.”
Another major issue in the area is with regard to the lack of jobs. Weaver hopes that the Youbou Lands development will create loads of employment for local people.
“My opponent thinks that these jobs will come from out of town,” she alleges. “We have people in the Cowichan Lake area that can fill those jobs.”
Kuhn said that this simply isn’t true, and that the developers have promised to look at hiring Cowichan Lake area people first and foremost.
“That’s what the developers said; that they’ll employ local people,” he said.
Kuhn said that he understands where Weaver comes from, in that previous experience with developers’ promises hasn’t always panned out. An example comes to mind with the Creekside development.
“There will probably be more people required than locally available,” he said, re-stating that it’s been promised that locals will be hired first.
Kuhn and Weaver will face off in a public debate, Monday, November 14, at the Youbou Community Hall.
The debate will begin at 6 p.m., and is scheduled to last until 8:30 p.m.