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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Martha Jane McHardy displays her knitwear in one of the windows at Imagine That! in Duncan this month. (Submitted)
Arts and Entertainment column: Lots to see in Duncan in March

Funding success, painters show, folk art, tell your COVID story

The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is a sight to behold. Funding for the expansion of the Shawnigan Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Citizen file)
Shawnigan Museum expansion gets $480,000

Funds from Government of Canada Legacy Fund - Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read