Lake Cowichan will always retain its mill town history, but council is saying its time for a case of out with the old and in with the new.
According to Councillor Bob Day, the town is in a transition period.
“It’s time to change from mill town to lake town,” said Day. “Lake Cowichan used to be cluttered with mills and it took so long to change the face of the town.
“In my mind, we’ve had some timid past governments who have not wanted to facilitate change. But perhaps they didn’t have the resources to.”
Day says in the old days there was lack of promotion by the local hierarchy, something the current crop of councillors is trying to rectify.
“When I first came on, I was asking things like why don’t we have a kayaking or tubing beginners section at the river. We have this huge lake here after all.
“You look at the demographics, our houses are full of baby boomers. The kids have moved away and there’s no good jobs.”
Day assures that when he goes to the council table he tries to keep in mind what the town’s people require as a developing community, highlighting the retail trade and health care as prime aspects.
“You look around, retail is our trade now, it’s not mills,” said Day.
Day also sits on the recently formed Choose Cowichan Lake committee alongside Mayor Ross Forrest and a number of other locals. The committee constantly looks to enhance public services in the community and surrounding areas.
“We want to improve the health of the Cowichan Lake area,” said Day. “For example we’ve asked the town to apply healthy living grants, we’ve created brochures and we’re going to get a health fair.”
Lake Cowichan recently applied for the position of at least one full-time doctor in town and Mayor Forrest said at a recent meeting he is “optimistic” of attaining that for the town.
Day insists the work of the committee has caught the attention of Vancouver Island Health Authority and he’s also optimistic of a new doctor arriving soon.
“Lake Cowichan has a clinic and is ready to go.”