News: Cowichan ofﬁcials say they’re ready for Old Man Winter page 5 Community: Pennies for Presents trying to turn on the copper taps page 9 For all the news of the Cowichan region as it happens, plus stories from around British Columbia, go to our website www.cowichannewsleader.com
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Alphonse back in chief’s chair for Cowichan Tribes Familiar face face:: Former chief returns with a pledge of economic development after unseating Hwitsum in Tuesday vote Krista Siefken
News Leader Pictorial
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Auxiliary Constable Nick Smith Älls a police cruiser with non-perishable food for the Cowichan Valley Food Basket during the Cram-A-Cruiser event outside Thrifty Foods at Beverly Corner on Nov. 26.
owichan Tribes has a new chief — sort of. Former leader Harvey Alphonse was re-elected after two terms off council in Tuesday’s vote. He edged incumbent, Chief Lydia Hwitsum, 322 votes to 280. Alphonse ran on a four-prong platform: economic development, movement on the treaty process, opportunities for youth, and improvements to on-reserve housing. “On the economic development side of things, I have been meeting with some business people and things are looking good, but I can’t really divulge too much because I signed a con¿dentiality agreement — but this will bring economic development for Cowichan Tribes,” he said. What’s more, Alphonse said it’ll also be an economic boost for the Cowichan Valley, and create jobs for Cowichan Tribes members. “I insisted on it,” he said. Alphonse promises to consult the Cowichan community for direction on the frustratingly slow-going and resource-consuming treaty process. “I’ve always said the treaty process is for the people, by the people, so we get our mandate from the people ¿rst.” Alphonse will be hosting quarterly meetings to keep Cowichan members up-to-date on issues, and hear feedback. “I think that’s important because you want to show that you are transparent and accountable,” Alphonse said. He also plans to create more opportunities for youth — from the performing arts to sports and recreation — and wants to discuss housing options with the other levels of government. But for now, Alphonse is just excited
to head back to the Chief and Council table. He’ll be joined by incumbents Darin George, Calvin Swustus, William (Chip) Seymour, Cindy Daniels, Dora Wilson, Chuck Seymour and Albie Charlie, plus Arvid Charlie, Stephanie Charlie, Lester Joe, Diane Daniels and Diane Modeste. Incumbents Lloyd Bob, Howie George and Andrew Canute were not re-elected, and incumbent Wayne Charlie did not run in the Nov. 29 election. Tribes elections allow candidates to run for chief and council positions at the same time. While elected to council, Stephanie Charlie also ran a strong campaign for chief, coming in third with 253 votes. She pushed heavily for more community inclusion in decision-making during her campaign. Harvey Alphonse: “I want to bring us back quarterly meetings together, and give the community a voice,” the new councillor said. “We could have a lot of opportunities to bring community in, and consult and work collaboratively together. As it is now, we have a few meetings a year, and it’s usually just an update meeting. I think when we have opportunities, like business ventures, we should bring in the community for meaningful discussion.” She’s seen more inclusive models work in other communities — Charlie worked eight years as a consultant with other bands that are still under the Indian Act, yet manage a more traditional form of governance. “They have successfully set up systems that bring back the more traditional ways of governing ourselves,” Charlie explained. more on page 4
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Friday, December 2, 2011
Your News Leader Pictorial: B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association 2011 silver medal winner General excellence: Silver 2009, Gold 2008, Gold 2007, Silver 2006, Gold 2005, Silver 2004, Gold 2003, Gold, 2002, Bronze 2001
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Publisher Bill Macadam Editor: John McKinley Volume: 48 Issue: 355 Date: December 20, 2011
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For the record The Maple Bay Carols Aﬂoat hits the waters this weekend. But it happens at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, not Friday as reported in Wednesday’s edition. The News Leader Pictorial apologizes for the error. For more details on the event, go to cowichannewsleader.com
New website commenting system activated Cowichannewsleader.com’s new Facebook commenting platform is now live. To comment on stories posted anytime after Nov. 30, you must register with Facebook, or already have a Facebook account. Commenting on stories posted prior to Dec. 1 will still be possible under the old Disqus commenting platform until those stories are ﬁve
Cowichan News Leader Pictorial 3
days old. The new system gives users of Facebook a stronger link to our news site. It gives you the option of posting comments to our website while simultaneously posting the comment and a story link to your wall to share with your Facebook friends. Anonymous posting is no longer permitted.
No more roadside penalties for blowing over .08? Judge rules: ﬁnes in the warn range are still OK Krista Siefken
News Leader Pictorial
owichanians such as Larry Woodruff are applauding a B.C. Supreme Court judge’s ruling on the province’s stricter impaired driving penalties. Justice Job Sigurdson found the year-old law’s most severe penalties to be unconstitutional, although he said the increased penalties for blowing in the “warn” range — 0.05 to 0.08 — were permissible. The issue is the penalty for drivers who blow more than 0.08. Sigurdson said drivers should have a chance to defend themselves in court before their vehicles are impounded for 30 days and they face thousands of dollars in administrative penalties. Cobble Hill resident Larry Woodruff — a ¿erce opponent of the provincial legislation — agreed. “My argument is you can’t circumvent the constitution or the criminal code by provincially legislating a law to give the police the power of martial law,” he said. “I am 150 per cent behind the police doing their job to take impaired drivers off the road …. (but) police should never be the judge and the jury at the edge of the road.” A provincial law, Woodruff said, cannot thwart Canadians’ fundamental right to a trial in criminal court. “The minute you stop using the criminal justice system, you’ve denied everyone their constitutional right,” said Woodruff, adding there needs to be proper recourse when “Police should never a police of¿cer fails recalibrate the be the judge and jury toroadside breathalyzer, or is untrained to at the edge of the the use the device. road.” However, there’s no denying the effectiveness of the new law — since its implementation last year, there has been a 40 per cent decline in alcoholrelated deaths on B.C.’s roads. “It’s been very successful,” said Sgt. Andre Dentoom, of the RCMP’s South Island Traf¿c
Police across B.C. are beginning their annual Christmas CounterAttack. A judge’s ruling may stop them from imposing the strictest roadside penalties. Services. “Anything that saves lives is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.” Dentoom pointed out part of the law’s success is its immediacy. “It’s legislation with a lot of teeth, and one of the big factors with this new process is that it’s immediate — it happens on the roadside, as opposed to waiting a year, or a year and-a-half, to go to trial,” he said.
“The bottom line is our job is to minimize harm and reduce fatalities — especially alcohol-related — on the highway, and as a tool, this is working incredibly well.” Sigurdson, meanwhile, did not immediately strike down the new penalties, but asked for submissions from the province and the driver who challenged the penalties to determine what comes next. — with ¿les from Tom Fletcher
Black Press ¿les
Police presence increased for holiday season Police are reminding Cowichanians to steer clear of driving if they’ve imbibed in some Christmas cheer. Look for increased roadblocks on local roads now that Mounties are launching their annual Christmas CounterAttack campaign. “As always, we’ll be out there,” said South Island Trafﬁc Services’ Sgt. Andre Dentoom. “At Christmas, you usually see red and green lights — well, we’ll have red and blue.” Dentoom said more ofﬁcers will be placed on evening and night patrols as the community moves into the heart of the Christmas party season. The goal is to make sure every family has a happy holiday. “We’re heading into the ice-and-snow weather,” he added, “and when you take those factors and add alcohol, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
— Krista Siefken
4 Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
Friday, December 2, 2011
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Candidates for Cowichan Tribes chief participate in an all-candidates’ debate last month during the run-up to the election.
Tribes turnout better than civic vote
from page 1
“And, traditionally, we would have more consultation with each other, to understand what was best for the whole community to move forward, so I think we have a great opportunity here to utilize all the people in the community, from the youth to the elders, in discussing issues and opportunities.” The new council will be sworn in on Dec. 7. Hwitsum could not be reached for comment.
A little less than half of Cowichan Tribes voters cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election. Of 2,686 eligible electors, 1,233 voted for chief of the local First Nations band — that’s about 45.9 per cent of voters. That’s higher than all other voter turnout ﬁgures in the valley this year, which were released after Nov. 19’s B.C. civic elections. Highest of the local jurisdictions, but still trailing Cowichan Tribes, was Youbou (40 per cent) followed by Cobble Hill (37 per cent), Duncan (33.6 per cent), North Cowichan (32 per cent), Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake (both with 31 per cent), and Cowichan Bay (28 per cent).
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Melatonin is a hormone which occurs naturally in the body. It is available without a prescription and has been proven to help people reduce jetlag when traveling through many time zones, especially west to east. It is best taken close to the normal bedtime of your destination. It’s available in many different strengths. Our pharmacists can advise you on this topic. Those who started playing a musical instrument early in life and are still playing, seem to have less of a problem with memory as they age. This could also be applied to those who have sung in choirs for many years. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy is still a problem in Canada. For normal weight women, a gain of 11.5 kg to 16 kg is good. For overweight women the gain should be between 7 kg and 11
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Cowichan News Leader Pictorial 5
OfÄcials ready for Old Man Winter
Driver blames signage for Cow Bay swamping No warnings: warnings: Ofﬁcials strongly disagree Peter W. Rusland
News Leader Pictorial
tuart Wilson found out the hard way Cowichan Bay Road should be avoided during all rainstorms. He’s now facing expensive repairs to the electronics of his 1993 GMC Safari van that was among three vehicles swamped when drivers tried to sail along the roadway that’s notorious for Àooding. The bay resident, and self-described careful driver, admitted he’s familiar with various Àood-warning signs dotting the stretch between the Island Highway and the lawntennis club. But on Sunday, he saw no reason to take a different route to the bay after a church service at around 11 a.m. “There were no signs when I arrived (at the highway’s west turn),” he said “or I certainly wouldn’t have gone through — that would be stupid.” Or just not paying enough attention, said Leon Bohmer, operations manager of highway-maintaining Mainroad South-Island Contracting. He rejected Wilson’s claim danger-Àood signs weren’t erected when Wilson approached Cow Bay Road at around noon. “That’s not true. Signs were up for a week by then,” he said. Posted warnings, including ‘dropdown’ barriers were across one end of the soggy road that started Àooding — with rising tides and rain — on Nov. 22. “If people choose to drive around the barriers, they should tip-toe,” said Bohner, dismayed by folks who could become angry when told they can’t use the swamped roadway.
News Leader Pictorial
ld Man Winter doesn’t scare the operations folks at Duncan and North Cowichan. Despite predictions of a particularly harsh winter ahead, local crews feel prepared to tackle the snow and ice to come. “We have a full snowfall response plan that’s adequate for any number of storm events,” said Wayne Gourlay, North Cowichan’s operations manager. A budget of about $350,000 covers everything from prepping winter equipment to purchasing a “considerable amount of salt” — somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300 tonnes. North Cowichan divides itself into 11 different routes, and has eight sander/plow trucks, plus a couple of graders and a backhoe on contract. “We also have two people on graveyard shifts from Nov. 15 to March 15, monitoring weather conditions and road conditions seven days a week,” Gourlay said. They’ll be on the look-out for ice and snow, deal with priority roads when necessary, and call in others as needed to deal with bigger storm events. That’ll come as a relief to those concerned about getting around town in what could be a ¿guratively uncool winter. Last month, Cowichan’s emergency program co-ordinator warned of a La Nina forecast for western Canada. “This winter could be one of the top-three coldest winters in the past 20 years for Vancouver and Victoria,” Sybille Sanderson
While the blast of winter that had local residents shovelling in November last year was not repeated this year, ofÄcials say they are ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring. said. It’s a concern for many in Cowichan — especially when they remember the winter of 2008-2009, when snow-removal budgets almost tripled expectations. This year, Duncan’s winter budget is $68,700, with another $64,703 available in contingency funds. That’s up from $35,500 (with $37,500 in contingency funds) in 2007. “Our budget is set considering past winters, with contingency funds available in the case of abnormal snowfall amounts,” said Duncan’s operations manager, Len Thew, in an email to the News Leader Pictorial. He said the city’s snow plowing and removal equipment has already been checked to ensure operability, and there are 125 tonnes of salt in storage, with another 125 tonnes on reserve if needed. “We have snow removal procedures and an action plan in place, and the crew has been briefed,” said Thew.
“A contingency plan of contractors and supplies is in place should an emergency arise and we ¿nd ourselves in need of assistance.” Duncan Mayor Phil Kent, meanwhile, said the city has been proactively paving with a patch-¿ll product expected to prevent the typical winter-time potholes, and added work continues to prevent Àood events. That includes completing Àood-pump stations and construction of the Joint Utilities Board diking. “We’re watching the rivers and we have emergency pumps in place in the city that we can use to ensure storm water in the McAdam area is kept at a level that keeps people safe and secure, and we have plans put in place if we do, for some reason, get heavy Àood waters,” Kent said. Cowichanians can also register for emergency warning noti¿cations on both the North Cowichan and Cowichan Valley Regional District websites. PRE-CHRISTMAS
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Stuart Wilson and his dog are rescued. from a Åooded Cow Bay Road Sunday. He advised determined drivers to go slowly, and allow turnaround space on Àood-prone Cow Bay Road. But Wilson said he felt in control of his van Sunday — until it was too late. “The amount of Àooding along there had never been a problem in the past.” But the waterline forced Mainroad to warn motorists to use Bench Road to reach the bay, Bohmer said, after a Àood tip from a Trans-Isle Freightways trucker. “If you can’t see these pulldowns, you’re not very smart.” Cowichan Bay ¿re chief Ken Bulcock agreed. He said the pull-downs were in operation Sunday “because I had to drive around that control arm.” Wilson was the ¿rst driver rescued by Bulcock’s crews, and the chief heard Wilson’s reasoning . “He said he didn’t see that arm, for whatever reason.” Bulcock was satis¿ed Mainroad’s crews acted well to warn motorists about Àooding on Cow Bay Road. “All warnings were in place. “Later on Sunday, they put barricades right across the road — they had to increase signage because people kept ignoring them.” But Wilson was adamant he wasn’t taking risks Sunday. “I wasn’t trying to test it. I thought I’d go through slowly.”
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6 Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
Friday, December 2, 2011
Developer hopes new project helps restore heritage feel to downtown
This is what Success looks like on Gayleen
Old Tzouhalem Hotel site: Some commercial on ground ﬂoor, 30 condos planned Peter W. Rusland
News Leader Pictorial
itting ground-Àoor homeand-commercial space into a heritage look for downtown Duncan’s landmark Alderlea building is one job now facing developer Stephen Holland. His $7-million project got a development variance permit from city council Monday. It allows several commercial units, plus six live-work spaces on the ground Àoor of The Alderlea slated for the long-vacant Canada Avenue-Trunk Road corner. While Holland tunes his fourstorey design — toward gaining development and building permits — he’s focused on reÀecting Duncan’s fading history in strata-based Alderlea. “I want it to have a heritage feel, not just a stucco box plopped down-
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Staples, and new councillors Michelle Bell and Martin Barker, join Mayor Phil Kent’s six-member council mulling Holland’s permits. Staples visualized heritage-style developments “in all of Duncan.” “Duncan Mall doesn’t ¿t what I see the city looking like. “I like seeing our old buildings and houses restored — there’s a feeling of history and beauty to that, t and it gives our area a certain culture.” She wanted ecology and character blended into buildings such as The Alderlea. “I’m looking for green technology too, so I hope it has solar panels, alternative (sewage) Àush facilities, green roofs, food trees — and that it exceeds LEED standards.” Holland noted he’d also follow Duncan’s arts policy urging developers to imbed public art into their projects, or contribute to the city’s arts fund.
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town.” Holland’s also read about the historic Tzouhalem Hotel that occupied Duncan’s gateway corner before its 1990 demolition. Michelle Staples: Now he and mulling architect Vic Davies aim to achieve heritage character through colours, ¿nishes and details in the Alderlea, which will include an additional 24 condos on its top three Àoors. Holland’s variance permit calls for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design construction, 17 bike racks, $35,000 in sidewalk replacement, $11,000 for off-site trees, and more. Incoming councillor Michelle Staples agreed with Holland’s goals.
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Friday, December 2, 2011
Cowichan News Leader Pictorial 7
Shawnigan woman leads milk moovement
bout 50 people gathered at the provincial legislature last week to ask the government to make a moove on citizensâ€™ rights to drink raw milk. The rally was held in solidarity with other Food Freedom rallies across Canada on Nov. 23, and was organized by Nadine Ijaz of Shawnigan Lake, a clinical nutritionist and registered herbalist who has been a herd-share member for 15 years. Shelby, a 7 1/2-year-old rescued commercial dairy cow was milked by her owner, Kerry van Wiltenburg, on the corner of Menzies and Belleville in Victoria. Van Wiltenburg then proceeded to Âżlter and drink the milk while onlookers held signs and talked about herd-sharing agreements that are illegal in Alberta and B.C. Shelby produces up to 48 litres of milk a day at her peak production, says van Wiltenburg. She makes milk, cream, mozzarella, sour cream, cream cheese and ice cream from Shelbyâ€™s milk, which has been tested by a vet. Mary Ellen Green â€œIâ€™d love to be able to share what Shelby, a rescued dairy cow, may not be allowed to share her products thanks to some my family doesnâ€™t need, but the new legislation. province doesnâ€™t recognize that,â€? says van Wiltenburg, a farmer from Metchosin and mother of three. â€œI had the distinct impression doing is illegal. Not all raw milk is Members split the cost of purchas- herd-sharing was legal,â€? she said. â€œIt safe, but weâ€™re advocating access to ing and maintaining the animalâ€™s was a shock to us that public health clean raw milk.â€? health and also share the milk. authorities think that what weâ€™re â€” Mary Ellen Green, Monday Magazine
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Pennies For Presents cash donations down, but volunteer commitment strong Copper collection: Troops at VIU among campaign’s dedicated collection agencies Ashley Degraaf
News Leader Pictorial
ancouver Island University students and staff have been digging into their pockets for the cash donations for News Leader Pictorial’s 2011 Pennies for Presents campaign. Although this year’s VIU contribution is down considerably, to $68 compared to last year’s $300, staff haven’t given up on supporting the annual campaign. “It’s a great cause, and it’s local, easy, and does not ask already cashstrapped students to dig too deep into their pockets for cash,” Arleigh Trail, of VIU’s Student Services department, said. The Cowichan campus is in its fourth year collecting cash for NLP’s yearly campaign, “We’ve been thanks noticing a deto Cocline in our cash wichan Campus donations.” principal, Maria Lauridsen, who asked staff to get on board with the Pennies campaign in 2008. The donation drive sees dough funnelled to Cowichan’s Salvation
Army, the food banks in Chemainus, the south-end and Duncan, and Cowichan Women Against Violence. Continuing Education Services department’s Penny Plumbly and Student Services’ Trail spearhead the school’s contribution and get folks around campus fueled up in every department. They sprinkle “brightly decorated penny jars” on counters in every corner of the campus, plus hang up notices and posters about the campaign. Although this year’s collection wasn’t their biggest to date, staff have high hopes for the longevity of the campaign. “I hope that it continues,” Trail said. “Many local individuals and families bene¿t from the generosity of staff and students, and everyone feels good about contributing to our community.” News Leader Pictorial staffers are also pulling all the strings when it comes to getting the public pumped about its Pennies campaign. A considerable decline in donations of small change has staff steaming up new ideas to get Cowichanians scrambling for contributions before Christmas. “We de¿nitely have noticed things are Àowing a little slower than
usual,” NLP publisher Bill Macadam said Wednesday. A regular thermometer update will appear in the NLP, updating Cowichanians of how much coin’s been counted. “We’ve been noticing a decline over a number of years in our cash donations,” NLP of¿ce manager Kim Sayer said. On the plus side, NLP’s book sale has been a huge boost to the fundraiser. “It’s been an extremely huge addition for Pennies for Presents,” Sayer said, noting this year’s sale brought in $7,200. The 15th-annual Pennies for Presents campaign is an island-wide Black Press initiative. NLP staffers are hoping the Christmas spirit will charge up Cowichanians to bring in their donations before St. Nick arrives Dec. 25. Proceeds go to the Salvation Army, Cowichan Women Against Violence and the Duncan, Chemainus and Mill Bay food banks. To donate to Pennies for Presents, or to volunteer, stop by the News Leader Pictorial of¿ce at 5380 Trans-Canada Highway or call the of¿ce at 240-746-4471.
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Cowichan News Leader Pictorial 9
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Orthopaedics has expanded in the past year from three to four surgeons and a new technician with a supporting “cast” of exceptional nurses and staff at our community hospital. The surgical team performs hip and knee replacements and repairs, arm and shoulder surgeries, trauma, emergency and sports related surgeries. Specialized equipment is needed for these operations including traction devices, drills, screws and staplers; a mini C-Arm (special x-ray) and an arthroscopic video tower to better view the patient and procedure during operations. With a growing and aging population, Cowichan Valley is seeing an increase in orthopaedic operations. For example, about 100 hip replacements / repairs and over 200 knee surgeries were performed last year at our hospital, and over 200 people remain on the wait list for hip replacements. Without this additional equipment, patients would have to travel farther and wait longer for surgeries, often while in pain. The Foundation is pleased to lead the campaign to fund this expanded service at our community hospital. Please join with us and support Cowichan District Hospital.
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10 Cowichan News Leader Pictorial The News Leader Pictorial is located at Unit 2, 5380 Trans-Canada Highway, Duncan B.C., V9L 6W4. Read us on-line at www.cowichannewsleader.com
Friday, December 2, 2011
Who should I talk to? For news tips and questions about coverage: Editor John McKinley Phone: 250-746-4471, ext 236 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 250-746-8529
For business-related questions:
For enquiries about newspaper delivery:
Publisher: Bill Macadam Phone: 250-746-4471, ext 225 Email: email@example.com Fax: 250-746-8529
For classiÄed advertising: call 250-310-3535
Circulation manager: Lara Stuart Phone: 250-746-4471, ext 224 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 250-746-8529 For all other advertising: call 250-746-4471
Bylaw infractions have to have consequences By the rules: CVRD enforcement should not be at the discretion of the regional district
ut aside for a moment the moot question of how the Cowichan Valley Regional District could have possibly allowed a commercial crematorium to be developed in Sahtlam right in front of their noses, despite bylaws and covenants directly prohibiting that from happening. Instead, concentrate on the more pragmatic question of “what should be done now?” We cannot afford a CVRD with policies that espouse an environment of build ¿rst, and let the lawyers ¿gure it all out later. Such a practice would CVRD needs take the power over development out of a clear policy the community’s hands and put it into the hands of any developer with deep and a useful enough pockets. We cannot afford a CVRD that chases hammer down every perceived infraction with rigid zeal. Not only would such a policy lock down the local economy by scaring off investors, it would leave us with very little left in the till to allocate for communitybuilding projects once we pay off the enforcement of¿cers and the lawyers. And we certainly can’t afford a CVRD that arbitrarily applies its rules based on the whims of its employees or directors. What we can afford — what we need — are more practical, easily applied penalties that can be imposed on bylaw offenders as simply as the city can issue a parking ticket. We have no problem with the CVRD giving someone a chance to correct a mistake by applying for a rezoning. But there should be a penalty applied in the form of a ¿ne as soon as the infraction is discovered. And the ¿ne should be reapplied and escalated unless the offender is following clearly prescribed steps to address the infraction. And that policy should be applied to all bylaw infractions. Laws need consequences, or what is their point?
Seeing both sides of: Cowichan Tribes turnout The case against
The case for Good on the Cowichan people for putting the rest of the valley to shame in their most recent election. While a turnout of every second eligible voter is far from perfect, it is also far better than the meagre number posted just one week earlier in the recent civic election. Your vote is your power. Failure to exercise it is abdicating responsibility for the place where you live.
Lydia Hwitsum is out as Cowichan chief after two terms.
Conservative agenda takes aim at populist issues Patrick Hrushowy
News Leader Pictorial
n the six months John Cummins has been leader of the B.C. Conservatives he has been beating a populist drum; accusing the Christy Clark B.C. Liberals of being without a economic agenda, blaming them for not making courageous cuts in spending and — worst of all — of being no different than the Adrian “This is the kind of stuff elections were DixNotNDP. only that — he says the government fought on more pandering to First than 30 years ago.” isNations interests to the detriment of the rest of the province. He cites the government’s support of the new treaty signed with Yale First Nations near Boston Bar, saying the treaty is irresponsible
because it permits provincial and federal legislation to be overridden. He thinks the Prosperity Mine proposal should not be held up simply because one interest group — First Nations — is opposed. And, Cummins has slammed a land-swap deal outside of Kelowna with the Westbank First Nations to enable highway expansion. Cummins has thoroughly ripped both the provincial government and Metro Vancouver mayors for the two-cent a litre gas tax to pay for the Evergreen rapid transit line. It could be paid for, he said, by local governments cutting back spending by just one per cent. The B.C. Conservative leader has attacked the carbon tax and the ban on 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. BC Hydro debt levels and the Smart Meter program have been attacked. So was the proposal to build a waste incinerator in the Fraser Valley. All of this is classic populist politics but where Cummins really gets revved up is about the justice system.
No one should be all that happy about turnout in Tuesday’s Tribes election. One in two may be better than one in three, or one in four, but it is still far worse than the 100 per cent turnout we should be aiming for. And given the number of serious issues this chief and council have to address, it is depressing half the voters failed to show.
AN EXPERIMENT OF ONE
Of the 33 or more news releases posted on the B.C. Conservative website since he was elected party leader at the end of May, at least nine dealt with the justice system. He found unacceptable the reduction in court room staf¿ng of sheriffs, an action later reversed by the government. Drug dealers going free because of a lack of court resources was something he criticized. He would make it possible for police of¿cers and conservation and wildlife of¿cers to directly lay charges. And he is de¿nitely most upset about the lack of charges being laid following the Stanley Cup playoff riots. But Cummins seems to save his biggest guns for the issue of the renewal of the RCMP contract. First, he commissioned former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford to take a look at the bene¿ts and costs of starting a provincial police force in order to “get the debate going.” Now that it looks like there will be an
agreement for a new 20-year contract with the RCMP Cummins says he would review that contract if he were elected premier. As I’ve already mentioned, all of this is very populist in nature — the kind of stuff elections were fought on more than 30 years ago and began losing favour about a decade ago. One has to wonder what kind of traction these issues have in the aftermath of the Occupy phenomena, and more particularly, will they attract popular support when the world is increasingly facing another ¿nancial crisis that many observers claims will be worse than what we are still coming through. Is this the stuff that builds con¿dence in voters? Patrick Hrushowy writes every Friday in the News Leader Pictorial. Email him at email@example.com
Friday, December 2, 2011
Have an opinion you’d like to share? email firstname.lastname@example.org phone 250-746-4471
Cowichan News Leader Pictorial 11
Are you concerned teachers’ job action has spelled gradeless report cards? “That’s not good. Teachers are still getting paid to do their job. They should still be ﬁlling out report cards, for sure.”
Seth Diab, Duncan
“It’s a waste of paper. I got my report card Friday and it was blank except for attendance. I don’t know what teachers are trying to say by that.”
Jennifer Shay, Grade 11, Mill Bay
What do you think? Log on to www.cowichannewsleader.com and answer our Question of the Week. Results will be published in our next edition.
Let’s start a new Christmas tradition of spending at home
Signs will come down as soon as it is ofÄcial the CVRD will back down
Dear editor Responding to Tom Harkins’ recent letter, I want to assure him and our community that the CT Group also looks forward to removing the signs and recycling them. However, before we do, the CVRD board must act on our community’s clear direction regarding the ECO Depot location. We need to see in the minutes of a CVRD board meeting that the ECO Depot will not be located on the CVRD’s Cameron-Taggart Road property and an acceptable explanation of how the property will be disposed of or its proposed future use. Since the election and referendum we have all heard comforting words from our politicians about democracy and following the community’s direction on the ECO Depot. Words are ¿ne but action is better. Thus, before the signs come down the CVRD board must act on the direction of the community regarding the ECO Depot. Hopefully we will not have to wait too long. Joseph Gollner
In my opinion: All the best Christmas presents are not made in China
s the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour. This year will be different. This year, Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadian hands. There is! CT Group It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to ¿t in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? If these Äve are wingnuts, what Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift does it say about the voters? certi¿cates from your local Canadian hair salon Dear editor or barber? Drew Shaw is certainly entitled to his opinGym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages ion, but it’s a sad commentary when ¿ve school who are thinking about some health improvetrustees are singled out and labelled “Utopian ment. Wingnuts” simply because of their willingness Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car deto put the educational needs of students living tailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and in the Cowichan Valley ahead of the dictates Andrew Leong car washes would love to sell you a gift certi¿cate and priorities of a Liberal government that sits One of today’s readers says it is important to challenge status quo thinking in Transit, as well as any other con- or a book of gift certi¿cates. in Victoria. Are you one of those extravagant givers who ventional wisdom in life. Mr. Shaw’s viewpoint may indeed resonate think nothing of plunking down the big bucks on a with provincial Liberals, but if the recent Chinese made Àat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift in response to the ECO Depot vote that many school board election results are any indication As, I’m sure, we all agree, public transit was receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn developed to move the physically and ¿ nanwould like to deny. The comments I read on — all ¿ve of the “Utopian” candidates ¿nished mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all cially challenged. So, as you suggest, it needs your website objecting to your editorial only in the top six of elected trustees — a majority winter, or games at the local golf course. to be done in the most cost-effective manner serve to validate it, and unfortunately demonof voters living in the Cowichan Valley will There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants, all and place the least burden on the taxpayers. strate some are not ready to move on. I, along likely assess his comments as being nothing offering gift certi¿cates. And, if your intended One must choose the right-size vehicle for the with some 1,450 others supported the ECO more than a pathetic whine. isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozpasssenger load and ¿ll the vehicle. Do we see Depot location. I personally received intimidatWilliam Wiebe en breakfasts at the local breakfast joint? 747s À ying from Nanaimo to Vancouver? No! ing phone calls and personal attacks for wading Shawnigan Lake Remember folks, this isn’t about big national The airlines use Dash 8s. into this debate. Until now I have refrained chains, this is about supporting your home town Also, note that a vehicle of 25 seats or less from making any more comment in regards to with their ¿nancial lives on the line to To do its job properly, Transit needs only needs a Cl.4 restricted licence to drive it the ECO Depot. Let’s all take some responsi- Canadians keep their doors open. — a savings in labour costs and a larger labour bility for our own actions, put this unfortunate the right tools How many people couldn’t use an oil change pool. The main point of course is to challenge mess behind us, and direct our efforts to movDear editor for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop the status quo and conventional wisdom of ing forward for the good of the community. Re: “Park the buses with too many empty run by the Canadian working guy? anything in life. We all know that every large Elijah Fraser seats” Nov. 25. You hit the nail on the head. Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom organization, government or otherwise, has lots Shawnigan Lake would love the services of a local cleaning lady of o spin doctors. for a day. PP.W. Williams Editor’s note: commenting on older website My computer could use a tune-up, and I know I LLadysmith stories is being disabled as the commenting can ¿nd some young guy who is struggling to get system switches over to Facebook his repair business up and running. “Do you support the decision by Cowichan teachers to TThere has been bad feelings and it OK, you were looking for something more cancel evening Christmas concerts?” More letters online personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool You answered: (80 votes) iis time to move on and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, DDear editor Also, read fresh stories every day and share 73 per cent NO pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, and original I was unable to post the following comment your thoughts immediately through the comwatercolour art. o online in response to: “Community does not To vote on the next Question of the Week, log onto the ments function. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner opern this to be repeated.” There is a lot of need web poll at www.cowichannewsleader.com at cowichannewsleader.com ated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. truth t to the Nov. 23 editorial you published How about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so ¿nd a venue showcasing local bands. Local charities like the SPCA, Cowichan Community Land Trust, and many more always appreciate donations. Here are some tips: Keep it short — 300 words or less; Keep it local — letters raised in We want to hear your opinion on just about any matter of local interest. Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian response to issues raised in our pages get top priority; Keep it clean — attack the issue, Here’s how to send it to us: pockets so that China can build another glitternot the individual. • Email your thoughts to email@example.com ing city. Christmas is now about caring about You must include your full name, home community and a phone number where we can • Mail your letter to Unit 2, 5380 Trans-Canada Highway, Duncan B.C., V9L 6W4 Canada. reach you during ofﬁce hours. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published. • Fax it to us at 250-746-8529 Letters will be edited for clarity, grammar, length and good taste. Name-withheld letters • Log onto www.cowichannewsleader.com and use the feedback button. This is the new Canadian Christmas tradition.
We asked you:
So you want a letter published?
will not be published. We receive more letters than we have space for. Publication is not guaranteed.
How to reach us
For more information, call the newsroom at 250-746-4471
Diana Hardacker is a Chemainus resident.
12 Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
Friday, December 2, 2011
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Environmentally Friendly â€œGreenâ€? Cabinetry Located in Cowichan Bay
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t Nearby and open 24/7 touch with the t No Contracts, No riskâ€”pay monthly
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www.countrysidedesigns.ca ĂŠ ĂœĂœĂœÂ°Â…>Â?Â?Âˆ`>ĂžĂ€ÂœÂœwÂ˜}Â°VÂœÂ“
Â¸ YES 250-743-1244 We do continuous 5â€? Gutters in 3 ProďŹ les ÂŁĂ‡xÂŁĂŠ ÂœĂœÂˆVÂ…>Â˜ĂŠ >ĂžĂŠ,`Â°
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250-758-7839 Heritage Pawn Brokers 430 Whistler St. 250-746-9810
We are here
Coronation Ave. Traveling?
Â˝ Block off the Highway Duncan Tuneininto the local news
while you are away www.HeritagePawnBrokers.com nanaimobulletin.com
Private Pet Cremation For allonly your tire and
mechanical service needs.
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(EATING #OOLING s %XHAUST s TrANSMISSION 3ErVICES s ,INE 0AINTING s ,ANDSCAPING "ALANCING AND TirE 2EPAIRS s TUNE 5PS s 7HEEL !LIGNMENTS s 0ARKING ,OT -AINTENANCE s 'RAFlTI 2EMOVAL "rAkES s 3HOCKS 3TRUTS s (OUR 3ErVICE Laurie Nairn s 3NOW 2EMOVAL s $E )CING s A LOT MORE 3EASONAL -AINTENANCE 0ACKAGES s #USTOM 7HEELS
Serving Cowichan ValleyDirector Since 1985
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