Watershed just needs government to do its job

Comparing the Victoria or Vancouver Watersheds to the Cowichan is like comparing apples to oranges.

Watershed just needs government to do its job

Watershed just needs government to do its job

Our MLA Sonia Furstenau has a strong commitment to the well being of our Cowichan Valley. Her past track record as the CVRD area director for Shawnigan Lake proves that.

Sonia held a speech at the B.C. Legislature praising the achievements of the Cowichan Watershed Board. I am a member of this board, and I agree with Sonia to a point.

However, comparing the Victoria or Vancouver Watersheds to the Cowichan Watershed is like comparing apples to oranges.

Victoria’s Sooke Reservoir is totally owned by the city; it is fenced, no logging is allowed. There are no boats or people allowed. It is totally controlled.

The Vancouver water system is supplied by the Capilano Reservoir, the Seymour Reservoir and the Coquitlam Reservoir. They each contribute about one-third of the water to the city. All of them are either owned by the city or on a 999 year lease from the Crown. They do not allow the public to trespass, they do not allow boats, they do not allow logging. All three watersheds are fenced, totally controlled.

Compare that to our Cowichan Watershed. There is car traffic, boat traffic, people swim, relieving their bladders. There are houses, some of them with outdated septic systems.

The Cowichan Watershed is surrounded by private forest lands, which are being logged. There is no way that this watershed will ever be totally controlled. There are too many different jurisdictions. There are too many ministries involved. By being open to the public, there are too many things that can happen, over which we have no control.

Therefore, local control of our watershed, while desirable, will never be totally achieved.

It is for that reason that the provincial government has the primary responsibility when it comes to our watershed. The provincial government has the legislative power to protect and enforce. It should use that power rather than delegating it to other entities. The current responsibilities are very clear. The B.C. government is responsible for the river and the fish, the federal government is responsible for the salmon, Catalyst Mill is responsible for the weir.

By changing these responsibilities, the B.C. government is about to create another level of bureaucracy to be supported by our local taxpayers.

I agree that the current system is far from ideal. But most of the fault lies with the B.C. government for not having had the will to use its legislative powers to bring order to this ragged system. It is hoped that the newly elected B.C. government, with its emphasis on the environment, will remember its roots again. We do not need more bureaucracy, we just need the government to do the job it was elected to do.

Klaus Kuhn

Director Area I, CVRD

Just Posted

Desmond (Casey) Peter serves salmon and hamburgers to the waiting crowd at the Cowichan Tribes’ celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes celebrates National Indigenous People’s Day

First Nation members gather for day of fun and remembrance

The Crofton Pool will reopen July 2. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Lifeguard services returning to Fuller Lake Park, Crofton Pool

Summer schedule starting after hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk at school and in the community was identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

Most Read