With Malcolm Chalmers
THE GAZETTE THELAKE LAKECOWICHAN COWICHAN GAZETTE
Wednesday, Wednesday,March March12, 12, 2014 2014
We asked: Do you feel Lake Cowichan residents should pay taxes towards CVRD area parks accession and maintenance?
Denny Seppala “I would have to look into it, but I believe I would be in favour of supporting it.”
Paul Goulet “No. There are things we should be paying for and things we should not be paying for. Because of my age, I don’t benefit from that. I don’t mind helping out. We give to the SPCA for example but it’s things that I’ll benefit from as well.”
Al Capeling of Youbou was the excited winner of VIRL- Cowichan Lake branch’s “Freedom to Read” week quiz. He correctly identified a classic “banned” book title via a series of unflattering online reviews. With more rain in the forecast, it looks like he’ll get plenty of use out of his new VIRL umbrella.
Health care major concern for Canadians, system needs to target efficient system It is the time of year when bills from Christmas come due and people’s resolutions to curb spending or reduce debt are reflected in one’s wallet or purse feeling a little lighter. So it is no surprise that in recent polls on what issue Canadians are most worried about, health care continues to be the number one answer. For years we’ve heard stories of our neighbours to the south going bankrupt to pay medical fees. At the same time, we’ve seen our health care system stagnate. While most Canadians still enjoy excellent medical care when they need it, too many wait to find a family doctor or for a visit to a specialist. In 2004, the federal government sat down with the premiers of all provinces and territories to come up with a new health care deal. Provinces rightly pointed out that the federal government had reduced its share of health care funding to 20 percent from the original 50 percent when Medicare was first introduced. In turn, the federal government pointed out that provinces were not being innovative enough and reducing the cost of health care through reforms and a focus on wellness. So a series of Health Accords were made and the provinces agreed to transform health care and the federal government agreed to provide funding without further conditions. Ten years on and the Health Council of Canada (soon to be disbanded by the Con-
servative government) reports that very little progress was made — while wait times came down in some areas, like knee replacements, the delays for other procedures grew. And no government has a plan for the demographic bulge of baby boomers moving into retirement and needing more health care than ever before. New Democrats know that an effective health system does need investments but they should be targeted and actually work to make the system more Jean efficient. Crowder For example, a national pharmaceutical strategy would help Canada bulk buy drugs on a common list, reducing costs and helping ease drug shortages some areas have experienced. The Health Accords also called for electronic health records to reduce errors and speed up access to specialists. Improving home care is probably the biggest single change that could improve the efficiency of our health care system. From paramedics starting to do home visits for basic medical checks to the simplicity of calling seniors daily to check up on them, best practices need to be shared so those improvements can be implemented wherever they make sense. New Democrats believe that with the necessary resources we can have a modern, efficient health care system based on the principles of the universal, single-payer public system Canadians enjoy.
Diana Ketch “Well, myself, I go to a lot of those parks so the money is worth it. The one thing I am not okay with is the pool.”
Scarlett Feltrin “I think after that whole fiasco with the pool I would say yes now. We are all part of the Cowichan Valley and we should be contributing, especially if we are using them.”
Holly Greaves “I do agree paying that one. What I disagree with, is paying for the pool. I agree with the parks because I feel they are important. I do use the parks.”
Strong commitment by volunteers makes community a better place
MAyOr’s rEPOrT The overwhelming support Choose Cowichan Lake has received is a testament to the strength and commitment so many have made to making our community a much healthier place to live in. The Town of Lake Cowichan has given approval to submitting an application under the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund for a $20,000 grant. This grant, if successful, would be used for a study towards an initiative being considered for a project at Centennial Park. We are taking into consideration in our budget for 2014, the purchase of a new garbage truck for use in the collection of organics which we intend to start in 2015. Our residents have done a good job of reducing waste through the recycling program and we are confident that having the opportunity to reduce even more of our waste through the collection of organics will be of great benefit to our town. Another strong commitment we are witnessing in our community is the effort being made by the many stewards who are working at protecting and enhancing our watershed. With over 200 delegates participating at
the Water Governance Forum held in Duncan over three days in January of this year, it is indeed reassuring to see how many people are strongly committed to protecting our most precious resource — water. The Cowichan Lake River Stewardship Society and the Cowichan Watershed Board are a couple of the groups working diligently to protect our watershed. However, the issues affecting the watershed should be ones we should, as individuals, all be putting much more thought into. Ask yourself this simple question, “How much do you value water?” Lake Cowichan’s relationship to water is obvious. The importance of our water is unquestionable. Our lake and river are the resources that sustain our community. We owe it more respect than we are giving them. These stewardship groups I have referred to are helping guide all of us in that respect process. Please support these organizations as they work for the benefit of us all. It was very encouraging to see the Cowichan Theatre at near capacity for the premiere of the movie Resilience, a documentary on the Cowichan River and watershed. This documentary is a must see if we want to appreciate the diverse environment we live in. I highly recom-
mend you try to attend the showings that will be provided in our respective municipalities. The year-end reports are in for the Vancouver Island Regional Libraries and the numbers for Lake Cowichan are very promising. For 2013 the Cowichan Lake branch welcomed over 35,000 visitors with 62,000 items being checked out. Our recently built library has seen a substantial increase in both usage and the number of new cards issued, since it opened its doors last year. We would like to express our appreciation to Catalyst Paper for its $5,000 contribution to our float at Saywell Park. Assistance from different organizations goes a long way to helping us complete the many positive projects that all of us benefit from. The two vacant positions on our Advisory Planning Commission have been filled by Ross Fitzgerald and Diane Goode. We are very confident that these two new members will complement Chris Rolls, Les Bowd and Tara Bushby — the existing members of the Commission — well. Thank you to this dedicated group of volunteers. Your work is much appreciated. Thank you to all of the many volunteers who work tirelessly for the betterment of our community.
How much do you value water?
March 12, 2014 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette