Construction of new RCMP detachment to begin in early 2021

Construction of new RCMP detachment to begin in early 2021

North Cowichan’s council unimously votes to borrow $48 million for project

Construction of the new $48-million RCMP detachment in the Cowichan Valley is expected to begin early in the new year now that the project has been given a green light to proceed from voters in North Cowichan.

Just 4.6 per cent of eligible voters in North Cowichan submitted an Elector Response Form during the Alternative Approval Process, which ran from June 12 to July 14, opposing the municipality’s plan to borrow the money to build the new detachment.

RELATED STORY: NOT ENOUGH OPPOSITION TO HALT NEW COWICHAN RCMP DETACHMENT BORROWING

When seeking elector assent though an AAP, at least 10 per cent of all eligible electors in the voting area must oppose the proposed project for North Cowichan’s council to have to reconsider how to move forward, including the possibility of holding a full fledged referendum.

At the council meeting on July 15, council voted unanimously to borrow the money after the municipality’s corporate officer Michelle Martineau explained the break down of the vote.

She said North Cowichan received 1,364 response forms by the deadline, with 130 rejected, out of the 26,916 eligible voters in the municipality during the APP.

Martineau said of those rejected, a number were sent in by people not living in the municipality, some had no signatures, others were duplicates and a number were received before the APP process officially began on June 12.

RELATED STORY: COUNCIL CHOOSES AAP OVER REFERENDUM TO GET VOTER APPROVAL ON NEW RCMP DETACHMENT SPENDING

But it was pointed out by Mayor Al Siebring that, even if all the rejected response forms were accepted, the final vote would still not have come close to the 10 per cent threshold required for the project to be turned down.

Coun. Christopher Justice asked Siebring if, after his many years in local politics, he’s ever seen an APP process end up with a project failing to proceed.

“Would you say that the requirement for 10 per cent (of eligible voters) to reject a project is too onerous?” he asked.

Siebring pointed out that the 10 per cent requirement was set by the province, but said a number of years ago, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Electoral Area E (Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenor) held an APP to determine if its voters would agree to increase their financial contributions to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, and more than 10 per cent of the electorate voted against it, ending the initiative.

“There was also a land-use issue in Ladysmith that went to an APP, and people went door-to-door in the town and collected enough signatures against it that the project died,” Siebring said.

Coun. Rob Douglas asked finance director Mike Frame, who will lead the construction project on behalf of North Cowichan, if there will be checks and balances in place to monitor and keep costs down during construction.

Frame said that the new detachment will be built according to the RCMP’s specifications for it, but pointed out that North Cowichan has hired a construction and project manager who will work with the project’s design team to try and keep the costs contained.

RELATED STORY: NEW NORTH COWICHAN/DUNCAN DETACHMENT BUILDING FINALLY BACK ON TRACK

Although North Cowichan will borrow the $48 million to construct the facility, which will be located on the municipality’s five-acre property bordering Ford Road and Drinkwater Road, the RCMP and the province will be responsible for paying back 60 per cent of the costs of the new detachment.

After the vote to borrow the money, Siebring said the new RCMP facility will be an asset to the community, and he’s happy to see community support for the project.

“We will benefit from more efficient policing with more services operating out of a centralized location in the new integrated facility,” he said.

“I am looking forward to breaking ground on this project in the coming weeks and seeing our police members move into a building that better suits their needs.”



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

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Duncan area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Sorting food to deliver to community members isolating due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Back row from left: Philomena Wilson, Sosefina Aleck, Ethan Wilson and Lucetta Wilson. In front is Kennedy Aleck. (Submitted)
“Let’s share a meal even if I can’t sit with you”: Cowichan woman’s food drive helps feed members in isolation

Positive response to missing ceremonies and rising racism benefits dozens of households

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. [CDC]
Lake Cowichan daycare closes for 10 days due to COVID-19 exposure

A client at Creative Angels Daycare came in contact with someone who tested positive

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read