Referendum votes don’t represent majority of CVRD
Immediately following the CVRD election, we were informed of the results regarding the latest two CVRD initiatives — the undefined water management issue and the obscure housing services initiative.
According to the news services the housing initiative received a vote of 11,981 for and 9,799 opposed a difference of 2,182 votes.
The undefined water issue received a vote count of 12,890 for and 6,667 opposed a difference of 6,223 votes.
As of 2016 the total population of the CVRD was approximately 83,739.
In a recent editorial of the Cowichan Valley Citizen the percentage of votes cast were:
North Cowichan 34 per cent
Duncan 35 per cent
Lake Cowichan 49 per cent
Shawnigan Lake 21 per cent
Youbou 42 per cent (966 residents)
The CAO of the CVRD, Mr. Brian Carruthers, was recently quoted in the local papers as saying: “Water management and affordable housing are two of the most pressing issues facing the region. The results of this referenda confirm the majority of residents want proactive response at a regional level,” he said. (Since when does approximately 13,000 voters voting yes on each proposal constitute a majority of the CVRD population?)
He further went on to say, the CVRD now has the mandate to embolden its work in these areas and ensure our region remains a sustainable, affordable place for future generations.
Now let’s consider three issues:
1) How many taxpayer dollars were spent by the CVRD in advertising to convince the uninformed residents to vote yes for each of these proposals,
2) As for CVRD workers, there is an increase in the numbers of both management and labourers every time the CVRD creates additional regional responsibilities, it isn’t hard to imagine every CVRD worker voted in favor for both of these proposals,
3) One wonders how many of the “yes” voters do not own property and will not be financially impacted by their “yes” vote.
And finally Mr. Carruthers suggests that the passing of the housing initiative will create a sustainable, affordable place for future generations. If this is the case, maybe Mr. Carruthers can explain why these measures weren’t invoked PRIOR to the present housing crisis. After all, this same problem has existed for decades.