Lake Cowichan has been listed as a municipal champion of the Trans Canada Trail.
Recently, Mayor Ross Forrest was approached to be one of the trail’s inaugural municipal champions and in return, must speak of or promote the trail in some way going forward.
Lake Cowichan is part of the Trans Canada Trail and makes up the most westerly section of it.
Forrest believes becoming a municipal champion was a good move for the town.
“They (trail hierarchy) approached me a couple of months ago and asked me if we would be a municipal champion,” said Forrest who lines up alongside 16 other mayors and cities or towns across Canada. “It’s very good publicity for Lake Cowichan and great to make it into a national newspaper (where the champions were listed recently).”
In the weeks ahead, Forrest has been tasked with promoting the trail in whatever way he wishes and there is no fee to becoming a municipal champion of the trail.
“We’ve been asked to talk up the Trans Canada Trail,” said Forrest who admitted he plans to do exactly that in forthcoming mayor’s reports and speeches that he writes or delivers. “We just have to let people know that it’s there and the goodness of it.”
The mayor reiterated the publicity factor involved here.
“Whenever we get a chance to promote Lake Cowichan or an opportunity to mention it, we should do it,” said Forrest. “There is some pretty big mayors in there (the list of municipal champions) and I’m quite pleased to be associated with them. The mayor of Fredericton, New Brunswick, who is one of the champions, is also the president of FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities). I was pleased to agree (to be a champion) and anytime we can get Lake Cowichan mentioned is to our advantage.”
Forrest and Lake Cowichan are one of the trail’s 17 champions alongside: Mayor Brad Woodside, City of Fredericton; Mayor Don Atchison, City of Saskatoon; Mayor Richard Collins, Town of Montague, PEI; Lord Mayor Dave Eke, Niagara-on-the-Lake; Mayor Dean Fortin, City of Victoria; Mayor Don Iveson, City of Edmonton; Mayor Clifford Lee, City of Charlottetown; Mayor Ron McRae, City of Kimberley; Mayor Darrell Mussatto, City of North Vancouver; Mayor Naheed Nenshi, City of Calgary; Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver; Mayor Wayne Stetski, City of Cranbrook; Mayor Trish Stewart, TOwn of Oxford, NS; Mayor Basil Stewart, City of Summerside and Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa.