Klaus Kuhn, former director for Area I, is not happy that Pat Weaver, current director for Area I, and the members of the Nature and Habitat Fund Advisory Committee have voted to commit $5,000 to a truck wash in Youbou.
In fact, Kuhn plans to go to the next CVRD board meeting on July 10 to state his opposition to the members before they vote on whether or not to allocate the funds to this project.
Kuhn says that originally, the committee had floated the idea of setting aside $20,000 to the project.
“A member of the committee asked the approximately 40 people attending to raise their hands if they wanted an immediate solution,” says Kuhn of the first of two contentious committee meetings. “The majority raised their hands. Although there was a commotion, they did not want monies from the fund used for that.”
“I said to TimberWest that I could possibly come up with $20,000,” Weaver told attendees of the first meeting. “And that gives us ownership.”
Weaver explained that the $20,000 would guarantee that the truck wash stays in Youbou for at least 10 years.
“It’s unusual that the CVRD does business to business,” Weaver told attendees. “But because of the situation, because of what it’s doing to the people, the legal people have told us that yes, we can use it.”
At the second meeting, which took place on May 13, Weaver denied that she had wanted to use the $20,000 for the truck wash.
“[She] claimed that she never considered $20,000 of the fund to assist with the truck wash,” says Kuhn. “She claimed that we [the public] misunderstood her, that she was just pointing out how much money there was in the fund.”
Others in attendance also voiced their concern.
“They [TimberWest] don’t need our contributions; it’s their dust. They’re making all the money,” says Youbou resident, Wayne Hughes. “I don’t think the people want anything to do with ownership of a truck wash, we shouldn’t have to.”
Kuhn would like the minutes of the first meeting to reflect what was actually stated and will be making this case to CVRD board members, along with his opposition to any Area I monies being used toward the project.
“It is this kind of manipulation that gives politics a bad name. People feel deceived, they end up not participating,” says Kuhn. “Just how stupid do some people think the Youbou residents are?”
Bill Routley, MLA for the Cowichan Valley, agrees that the onus should be on TimberWest.
“I definitely think the company bears the responsibility,” says Routley.
However, he also says that cooperation with TimberWest could be a viable solution.
“I know that the idea of a truck wash came from the community, so it’s good if the company and the community can partner,” says Routley.