Shame on the CVRD board for voting for Cowichan Bay rezoning

Shame on the CVRD board for voting for Cowichan Bay rezoning

Municipal directors were not allowed to vote while the decision was put to area directors only.

Shame on the CVRD board for voting for Cowichan Bay rezoning

Dear CVRD board chairman and directors:

I am disgusted and ashamed at what passed for due process during today’s Oct. 23 board meeting where directors basically rubber stamped third reading and adoption of zoning amendment bylaw 4264.

Despite many folks who wanted to speak to this landmark motion, Chairman Ian Morrison simply told everyone no further public input would be allowed before the controversial vote that will now allow further marine manufacturing in our eco-sensitive bay.

The seaside site owned by Tidal Harmony Holdings and Western Stevedoring shifted today to Transportation-Industrial zoning from Water-Industrial use.

The CVRD rightly requested no divisive tactics, such as donning bright safety vests by bay workers and others favouring the rezoning to keep operations running at Pacific Industrial & Marine and elsewhere.

The CVRD also asked folks opposed to the amendment not to brandish signs during the packed meeting.

Still, the brusk, close-minded manner in which our board — with the exception of Glenora (Area E) Director Alison Nicholson, and Mill Bay/Malahat (Area A) Director Blaise Salmon — mishandled this controversial issue still divides our community after today’s shameful affront to democracy.

Municipal directors were not allowed to vote while the decision was put to area directors only.

Sadly, the amendment affects the north half of the bay sitting in the North Cowichan municipality. Coun. Rob Douglas wisely requested the CVRD do an environmental impact assessment concerning the sensitive estuary before today’s vote.

His timely request was sadly ignored by our board that is seemingly bent on moving ahead with economy over ecology in a threatened bay ecosystem where shellfish is expected to be harvested next year.

Indeed, our board could have had both economy and ecology in our bay: jobs, with caveats preventing noise, odour, light, and certainly air, water and land pollution.

But even given those conditions, there’s no clear picture about what continued marine manufacturing — and Western Forest Products’ nearby sawmill — will have on birds, wildlife, marine critters, eelgrass and the whole bay ecosystem.

Those impacts might have been revealed in Douglas’s requested environmental impact assessment.

In hindsight, those industries should never have been allowed in the bay circa-1950s.

Our board had a golden chance today to correct that eco-mistake, but foolishly failed to put ecology, tourism (in our globally acclaimed Cittaslow bay), and green jobs first.

I sure applaud Nicholson and Salmon for wisely voting against the bylaw amendment, while requesting more information about industrial impacts, and more, on our bay.

However, I can’t help but wonder what (Area D) bay director Lori Iannidinardo, in particular, was thinking when voting in favour of this information-poor amendment.

That vote came from a director who has done so much to bravely resurrect the bay’s ecology.

Shame on our board for a seemingly reckless, short-sighted decision that will impact Cowichan Bay and North Cowichan for generations.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Brenda and Steve Smith with a photo of Derek Descoteau. It’s been five years since Derek was murdered in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved Chemainus murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Shawnigan RCMP wrap up investigation into ‘suspicious occurrence’

Police and complainant satisfied with explanation

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
COVID-19 virus (file photo).
Possible COVID-19 exposure reported at Mill Bay Thrifty Foods

Employee tested positive, last worked on May 8

The former St. Joseph’s School converted to the St. Joseph’s Art Studios in 2019. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Former Chemainus St. Joseph’s School site sold to addictions recovery group

Diocese stresses the importance of a community outreach option in its decision

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Victoria police responded to a vehicle where this dog was found in distress due to the heat after being left inside. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Two Victoria distress calls a reminder that hot cars can be fatal to dogs left inside

Victoria police found two dogs in a car with an internal temperature of 47 C on Friday

A game camera near the Klahoose reservation on Cortes Island caught this glimpse of a truck leaving the woodlot at around 2:30 on Sunday morning. Photo supplied by Klahoose First Nation
Indigenous cutblock vandalised on Cortes Island, anti-logging element suspected

Ribbons pulled down, gravel poured into gas tank at Klahoose First Nation site

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

The province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory Tuesday

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

Most Read