Cowichan Search and Rescue

Emergency centre has long been the plan
(Cowichan Search and Rescue)

Over the last few weeks, there has been significant media and social media attention regarding the Cowichan Valley Regional District establishing an emergency operations centre at Bing’s Creek, in the facility currently occupied by Cowichan Search and Rescue (CSAR).

While the conversations have been broad ranging, there are two identified needs: the community’s need for an emergency operations centre to help manage a coordinated response to emergencies like wildfires, and Cowichan Search and Rescue’s need for a larger facility.

On behalf of the CVRD, I would like to clarify the establishment of an emergency operations centre (EOC) at Bing’s Creek has been planned for some time. The region does not currently have a permanent EOC that can be mobilized at a moment’s notice, as well as provide training space for emergency training activities throughout the year. To fund the establishment of the emergency operations centre, the CVRD is using savings from previous budgets, ensuring there will not be a tax increase in 2018 for this project.

Over the years, Cowichan Search and Rescue has used this facility rent free until plans for the EOC could be finalized. On behalf of the CVRD, I offer my sincere apologies to the current Cowichan Search and Rescue team members, who were obviously unaware of the CVRD’s plan for this space.

The CVRD and Cowichan Search and Rescue have worked together for many years, and we value the relationship. We are continuing to work together to maintain the relationship and find solutions to CSAR’s facility requirements. However, the option to include the emergency operations centre and Cowichan Search and Rescue at Bing’s Creek, sharing the existing space, does not meet the individual operation needs of either organization.

As you know, Cowichan Search and Rescue is looking for community support to meet their facility needs. If you wish to find out more about their requirements, or feel you may be able to assist them in financial or material ways to achieve their goals, please contact them at newhome@cowichansar.org.

John Elzinga, general manager of community services, CVRD

Dewi Griffiths, Cowichan Search and Rescue president

(Taken from Cowichan Valley Citizen)

Drywall No Longer Accepted at CVRD Recycling Centres

Drywall No Longer Accepted at CVRD Recycling Centres Due to Safety Concerns
Duncan, BC – Effective Monday, December 18, 2017 Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) Recycling Centres will no longer accept drywall due to health and safety concerns associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos can be found in drywall mud and tape and is common in buildings built prior to 1990.
Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illnesses such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. This is why WorkSafe BC has strict rules for the demolition and disposal of drywall, as well as other materials that may contain asbestos.
Annually, the CVRD serves over 200,000 customers at its three recycling centres. Compared to other recycling services provided, the drywall portion of the operation is small. However, the amount of CVRD resources required to manage drywall has been significant.
Starting on December 18, 2017 customers with drywall will be directed to private waste facilities that have the resources to manage drywall appropriately. Drywall that is asbestos-free may be disposed of at the facilities listed below. To be certified as asbestos-free, drywall must be date-stamped 1990 or later or be accompanied by a laboratory certificate.
·         Coast Environmental Ltd., Duncan
3015 Boys Road
T: 250.746.4573
Hours: Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
·         Coast Environmental Ltd., Chemainus
9401 Trans Canada Hwy
T: 250.246.3216
Hours: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
·         Fisher Road Recycling, Cobble Hill
1355 Fisher Road
T: 250.733.2108
Hours: Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Asbestos-contaminated drywall or other asbestos-contaminated material may be disposed of at the Duncan Coast Environmental facility listed above or the Cedar Road Landfill in Nanaimo listed below. Residents must contact facilities prior to drop-off to ensure receiving requirements are met. 
·         Cedar Road Regional Landfill
1105 Cedar Road, Nanaimo 
T: 250.722.2044 

Hours: Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information on asbestos and materials that may contain asbestos, visit:www.cvrd.bc.ca/asbestos-kills.

Gamboa greenhouse property has new owner

After the great snowstorms of 2017, the greenhouses collapsed and the owner left town. The property went into foreclosure after that.

You might see some trucks and equipment on the site this week. The property has been purchased and clean up is starting. First the glass and steel will be cleaned up. Then site remediation will take place to remove the chemical fertilizer contamination.

Cobble Hill Commons

The park in the middle of the village is seeing some upgrades! The irrigation pipe, electrical wiring and grading has been done.

In late spring, topsoil will be brought in and the area will be seeded with grass. In the first year we will use water from the improvement district but in the next year, we will use irrigation water from the twin cedars sewer system. That sewer system uses a Class “A” standard meaning you could drink the water it is so clean. That water will be cheaper and create less stress on the water system.

Once the grass is in, the park will see some more benches and a few garbage cans installed. No other infrastructure is planned for 2018.


For several years, the RCMP searched for land on which to construct a new detachment to replace the aging building in Shawnigan Lake. The members based there serve the quickly growing Cowichan Valley Regional District Electoral Areas of Mill Bay/Malahat, Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill, home to over 18,300 people. A solution was finally found and a tripartite deal was reached for a one hectare parcel at the corner of Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road and Barry Road in Mill Bay which was donated by the developer of the Stonebridge lands through the CVRD, as part of the rezoning, to the RCMP. Plans were drafted and awaited the final sign off, which never came. The previous and current Solicitor Generals and their staff have indicated that the situation is under review and they are considering merging the Shawnigan Lake detachment with North Cowichan. Many fear this would be detrimental to the community.

Please write the Solicitor General with your concerns and copy our MLA

Honorable Mike Farnworth:

Cowichan MLA: Sonia Furstenau