Editorial: Now’s your chance to have say on Lake Cowichan’s future

Don’t whine about it afterwards if you don’t take your opportunity now to have your say.

The renewal of the Lake Cowichan municipal hall is a project for the near future, as it is showing its age. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Don’t whine about it afterwards if you don’t take your opportunity now to have your say.

The Town of Lake Cowichan is beginning the process of creating a new Official Community Plan, a document that guides what the town will look like in the years to come. It has implications for everything from the environment to whether an apartment building can go up on your street.

An OCP should reflect what the community wants their town to look like 10, 20 years down the road. Inevitably, not everyone will agree 100 per cent on every individual piece, but there should be a general feeling, when it’s done, that it represents the will of the citizens.

When an OCP fails to do this, it means trouble. Several B.C. communities are facing just this eventuality right now.

This occurs most often when a process hasn’t adequately involved community members is crafting the plan.

The Town of Lake Cowichan is doing everything in its power right from the start to avoid this. They are looking for 30 good people to sit on three key committees to help them draft the nuts and bolts of the plan. This will be a significant commitment for those who volunteer, but if people don’t, the risk their voices not being heard.

Of course if you don’t make the cut for the committees, or simply don’t have enough time to be able to commit to the endeavour that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Les Bowd, chairman of the Advisory Planning Commission assures us that public community meetings on various draft stages of the plan will be held throughout the process.

Is there something you don’t like in the current OCP? Now’s your chance to advocate for change.

Is something missing from the current OCP? Now’s your chance to have it included so the decades to come will take it into consideration.

All too often local governments advertise for public opinion on a variety of projects, but very few take them up on it until they run up against whatever decision has been made in their absence, then cry that they have not been consulted. Well here’s your chance to be consulted right from the beginning. We suggest that everyone who lives in the community try to attend at least one meeting about the new OCP, even better if you volunteer for a committee. The more voices the OCP represents, the better.

Just Posted

Community paramedic can discover people with ‘maple syrup’ in their veins

Paramedic Mike Wright talks up new idea with councillors

VIDEO: Come out and support Cops for Cancer at a BBQ at Country Grocer July 28

Tour de Rock always gets a warm welcome in Lake Cowichan, and this is just another way to help

Cowichan Valley welcomes the province for BC Summer Games

More than 2,000 athletes will compete in 18 sports from Friday to Sunday

Duncan’s Sunridge care home celebrates 10th anniversary

Long-time residents and staff celebrated

Families enjoy the Honeymoon Bay Day parade July 14

With fire trucks, floats, and sunny weather, there was a lot to like

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

RV insurance costs $1,000 more in B.C. than in Alberta: taxpayers group

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

Lower Mainland blueberry farms expect solid season

Blueberry Council of B.C. says season will be better than last year

Most Read