Re: the meeting of Nov. 4, Town of Lake Cowichan, Area F, Area I, Bylaw 3918 Flood Management, Bylaw 3931 Arts and Culture and the Alternative Approval Process
The meeting was very well attended considering it was the same day notification through local newspapers. Unacceptable.
When asked why such short notice, Ian Morrison claimed that there was no available space for such a meeting. Really? With all the empty halls in the area?
The tabled Bylaw 3930 was explained by CAO Brian Carruthers. Apparently Catalyst had been excluded from the process. An oversight due to a former staff member who has since left the CVRD. The have scapegoat!
I remember Jon Lefebure’s letter of Oct. 28, “CVRD seeks public consent on 3 big items”, where he states that, “portions of the District of North Cowichan” would be included. Therefore, a portion would be excluded and this of course, was Catalyst. Quite an oversight considering that Catalyst is the most significant user of water produced in the Cowichan Valley watershed. Directors and involved staff must have read the bylaw at least a few times. Something smells here.
Why wasn’t there a referendum on these bylaws during the federal election? After all the CVRD staff have been working on these bylaws for years according to Carruthers. I think it’s because they knew that a referendum would fail, just like the Sportsplex referendum failed.
Anyway, Brian Carruthers stated that nobody is perfect, we are human, we all make mistakes. When we went on to the bylaws, I happened to notice that the tax requisition on all the bylaws only included residential property. How much, if at all, would the commercial and industrial tax base be paying per $100,000?
Also noticed every property noted in the Bylaw 3918 and Bylaw 3931 were to pay equally, whether the function (namely the maintenance of the dikes in the lower basin) exists in their jurisdiction or not. I came to understand the reason behind this was so that the forest companies in Area F and I would also be paying for this function. After all, they are responsible for the silt build up on the delta, and the flash flooding due to clear cuts. Well, if they are the ones responsible for this mess, shouldn’t the provincial government get them to pay for flood management, rather than the CVRD taking this on and put the burden on CVRD residential property taxes?
It seems to me that all levels of government are failing their constituents. If a jurisdiction belongs to the municipal government, then the people of this municipality should hold the municipal government and its staff accountable.
If the provincial government is neglectful, then the municipal governments should address this neglectful behaviour and hold them accountable, as should the provincial government hold the federal government accountable.
That the CVRD takes over provincial and federal functions is inappropriate and unacceptable! That the CVRD is giving us information, in the 11th hour, after the bylaws have been presented, is also unacceptable. Not to mention the way they have made counter forms exclusive for pickup at 175 Ingram St. or online. That drop-off is exclusive to 175 Ingram St. (CVRD office) is also unreasonable, as every town has an office and their constituents are being affected. One would think that mayors and councillors would be all about serving and assisting constituents whenever possible. Anyway, if anything was learned here, it’s don’t use the AAP when consulting with the public. Or you’ll just make an angry crowd even more angered.