Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples holds Mayor’s Cafe in Cairsnmore neighbourhood. (File photo)

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples holds Mayor’s Cafe in Cairsnmore neighbourhood. (File photo)

City of Duncan hosts Mayor’s Café in Cairnsmore neighbourhood

Meeting expected to be the first of many in the city

Hosting a “Mayor’s Café” in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood on Feb. 28 was a good first step in dealing with the residents’ issues and concerns, according to Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples.

Staples was joined by Duncan councillors Garry Bruce and Carol Newington, who live in the neighbourhood, as well as Inspector Chris Bear from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, as they met with approximately 70 community members.

The meeting was called after the city noted a substantial increase in inquiries and complaints from residents and business owners in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood.

Staples said many people expressed their concerns around homelessness and the opioid crisis, and related issues, at the meeting.

RELATED STORY: GARDEN TOOLS STOLEN FROM CAIRNSMORE PLACE IN DUNCAN

“They told us some of the things they’d like us to do to help, and they related some of the things they have been doing,” Staples said.

“The residents said they would like to see a number of options explored, like better lighting on pathways and more clearing of brush and trees to open things up to view. The area also has a strong neighbourhood watch association that also organizes clean-ups, and some councillors and myself recently joined them on a clean-up day so we could see what was happening first hand.”

Staples said she came up with the idea of the Mayor’s Café to promote better and closer connections with the communities in the city.

The cafés are similar to North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring’s regular public meetings in coffee shops around the municipality in which he, and sometimes North Cowichan councillors, make themselves available for informal chats in which people can talk about any issues that concern them.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN’S NEW MAYOR READY TO BRING CHANGE

Staff at the City of Duncan are now recommending that at least two more Mayor’s Cafés be held in 2020 in various neighbourhoods around Duncan, with each having up to two councillors present as well.

At the meetings, there will be an opportunity to share information about upcoming city projects, current service levels, and an opportunity by council members to dispel any misinformation out there in the community.

“If there are issues identified that require follow up, the complainant’s name, phone number and nature of the request will be provided to the CAO or appropriate department director for follow up,” a staff report indicated.

“By hosting two more Mayor’s Café events throughout the year, it would provide each council member the opportunity to participate at one of these events.”

But, with so many issues facing the community, particularly around homelessness and the ongoing opioid crisis, Staples said she would like to have more.

“We need to determine what all of us can do,” she said.

“The Cowichan Leadership Group [which includes Staples and other leaders in the Cowichan Valley] has begun putting some pressure on the province to help us with these issues, but we need participation from everyone as we move forward.”

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN LEADERS CALL ON PROVINCE TO HELP WITH HOMELESSNESS, ADDICTION



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowichan considers extending tax payment deadline by two months. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

John Horn is leaving his position as executive director of the Cowichan Housing Association. (File photo)
John Horn leaving Cowichan Housing Association

Will take on role as executive director of John Howard Society in Nanaimo

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour has taken a medical leave of absence but expects to return soon. (Citizen file)
Chief William Seymour takes leave from office

Seymour will return once fully recovered

A cougar was sighted in the 500 block of Cedar Avenue in Duncan on May 6 at about 9:30 p.m. (Facebook)
Cougar sighted in residential Duncan

Spotted in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood

The Lake Cowichan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada is closing. (Google)
Lake Cowichan’s RBC branch will close in November

RBC says banking needs will still be met

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read