With no snow in the mountains this year, we can expect some severe drought. We are already in stage one restrictions which you can read about HERE http://cvrd.bc.ca/DocumentCenter/View/66567
I ran on the platform of: Water, Farms, People. This post deals with water…. or the lack there of.
I knocked on 500 doorsteps and talked to 100’s of people. It was evident my platform, epsecially the water part, resonated with people. But how could I possibly take all that discussion and show it as factual information?
Well it turns out that in 2009 and 2011, the CVRD hired Ipsos Reid to do a phone survey. They contained the exact same questions to see if the two years apart would change peoples minds. The answer? No. The answers had a 2% variance in either direction meaning the answers were solid. These surveys aren’t mickey mouse either. They are shown to be acurate within 5%
HERE IS THE SURVEY:
There are a few things that shocked me when reading the survey.
On page 19 & 37, people are asked about their priorities around land use planning. Adding 1st and 2nd choice, water totals 94% at the top of people’s minds. On page 22, people are asked for their NUMBER ONE environmental concern and 50% said water.
So as we press onto the 2015 drought, we at the CVRD table need to know that there is a mandate by the citizens of the valley to protect the watersheds and water ways.
If it came down to cutting services and saving more OR being taxed a little more for the same level of service, 2/3 people wanted to keep services. This is a little different from the story of some squeaky wheels in the community around taxes. (bottom of page 3 in the survey)
“The majority of residents believe they receive good value for their municipal tax dollars. Specifically, 80% feel they receive “very good” (18%) or “fairly good” (62%) value for their taxes. This viewpoint is consistent with what is seen in other British Columbia municipalities.”
If you have a chance, give the survey a read. It always great to know what the community is thinking. The last survey was done in 2011, maybe it’s time for a new one?
If you could ask 400 people a question to gauge the public, what would it be? Email them to me at email@example.com
For those of you tuning into the CVRD live streams or coming to the meetings, you may notice me missing. I have to take this month off to catch up on the farm for the month of June. My alternate, Don Herriott will be there and i am in touch with him.
You can still reach me at 250-715-6874 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been seven months since I have taken office and it’s been a rollercoaster!
From the first inaugural meeting where I asked for a question segment to the people running to be chairperson, to our 11th hour budget debates… it’s been full speed all the way!
Things have slowed down a bit and I feel I have finally got a grip on the reigns so I thought I would sit down and post a few updates.
I recently put forward a proposal for a small scale farming taskforce to identify and present solutions to the barriers to small scale farmers. We didn’t have quorum to make it official but I am working on it and will post more.
Being a dad, farmer and politician isn’t with out it’s challenges. I bring Amalia to some meetings with me.
Bright Angel Park has seen some substantial upgrades. We were given a tour by staff to show the improvements.
As some of you may know, we have a new Chief Administrator Officer (CAO). Think of it as a general manager…
Brian has impressed me with his professionalism, honest opinion and calm demeanor.
A Small visit to Oak Transit let me see how our handi dart system works and who it services. Click HERE for their website
Working with Sonia over the last 7 months has been amazing. She is a force of nature! Her conviction in stopping the SIA contaminated soil site is unparalleled.
In the event of an emergency like an earthquake, Arbutus Ridge has the communications center that would be the nerve center of all communications in the region.
I sat through the entire proceedings of the Environmental Appeal case with SIA and the CVRD/SRA.
Now hearing about the verdict is gut wrenching. It appears that the EAB gave the go ahead on what still seems to me a very risky project.
We haven’t had a chance to sit as a board since getting the news but I do want to say that protecting drinking water will always be the top priority for me.
I will share more news when I hear it.
Many don’t know that snow packs on the top of mountains provide us with water into the drier months. This time this year we should have 70cm of snowpack on mountains but we have none. CTV covers the story here: http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=550685&binId=1.1180928&playlistPageNum=1
It might seem weird to think about water conservation right now while the Cowichan River is all topped up but come summer we could be facing another drought.
Here on our little farm we have done what we can to save water by moving to a drip irrigation system and changing our showing heads.
I just wanted a quick post to say that I have been posted to the Economic Development Commission and the Agricultural Commission.
I am excited to sit on these two commissions. If you have any feedback in these two areas, please email me at email@example.com
I visited Shirley and Gale of South Cowichan Community Policing, an organization that works with the local RCMP, community members and groups. The offer a variety of services including speedwatch, friendly phones and blockwatch. You can find their website at www.southcowichancommunitypolicing.ca and their contact information is: (250) 929-7222 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the chance to go on a full day watershed tour with Rodger Hunter last week. The group you see in the photos is various law students at UVIC who came to see not only the watershed but also to ask questions about our unique watershed governance structure that we have in place here in the Cowichan Valley.
We started at Lake Cowichan Weir and got a lesson on the relationship that we have with Catalyst (who currently own the Weir and water licence). I learned that the Lake acts as our storage reservoir for the summer months and the goal is a 7 cubic meters per second of flow down the river. Catalyst is one of the members of the Cowichan Watershed board as well as members from the community, CVRD directors and first nations. I learned from the UVic professor that our board is the only one to have First Nations as full members.
Ian Morrison, the director for Lake Cowichan/Skutz Falls, was on site to help give us some background about the challenges that face riparian areas and the lake cowichan area.
Next on the tour was the Cowichan First Nations administration buildings where the law students heard from a representative of the band about its role in the board and tasks that were underway with the waterways and the bands.
In the second to last photo are some of the CVRD staff who we met with behind the old Malaspina college. By the river, they explained the initiatives that the CVRD was undertaking, some of the misconceptions people had about water as well as way we are trying to inform the public about water in the Cowichan Valley.
Lastly, we visited the Cowichan Bay Estuary as well as the Estuary educational center.
I’m really taken aback by not only the size, scope and challenges of our watershed but also by the water champions, like Rodger Hunter, who have helped guide us in the right direction with a collaborative approach. I wish there was a way to get the word out more about these great people and programs.