Matteus Clement

Cobble Hill Director Elect

Latest Posts

The last seven months

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.

 

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presenting to the board view

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.

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Being a dad, farmer and politician isn’t with out it’s challenges. I bring Amalia to some meetings with me.

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Bright Angel Park has seen some substantial upgrades. We were given a tour by staff to show the improvements.

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Brian Curruthers – CAO

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.

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A Small visit to Oak Transit let me see how our handi dart system works and who it services. Click HERE for their website

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A tour of our parkland and the trespassing by South Island Aggregates onto CVRD parkland.

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Tour of malahat cultural building with Cheif Harry

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Malahat has a reading center and day care in their building.

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Presentation to Malahat Nation about our proposed water governance structure.

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Rob Douglas and CEO of Coastal Communities Credit Union

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Rob Douglas is all about the Coops!

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Parks meeting with Amalia.

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Cobble Hill parks meeting with a presentation on Boatswain park

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Sonia Fursteneau has a huge commitment to community empowerment.

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.

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The Weir

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.

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A tour of our Cowichan River water system with UVic law students

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Sorry to hear the news

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.

No Snow could mean low water supply

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.

Watershed Tour

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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.

Learning to be a director

Sorry for the lack of posts, it’s been a whirlwind adventure so far.

As you can imagine, there is a lot to learn in this new role and it really hasn’t stopped. The CVRD learning curve in conjunction with my wife opening a new tutoring centre has left me tired but fulfilled.

Some of you may have seen my name in the paper and on various blogs about my motion to ask questions of the people running to be the chairperson of the CVRD. Some argued that there wasn’t a process and therefore should not have happened.

I believe that for such an important position (the spokesperson of the CVRD and 80,000 people) that it was vital to ask questions. It would have been nice to have a procedure in place for the process but there wasn’t one. And as have learned over time, “do not let perfect be the enemy of good”.

It would have been nice to have the questions asked be rotated so that Jon was not the first person to answer on all questions. It would have been nice to not allow digital devices in the answers. We can improve on a good idea and create policy to help ensure fairness in the future.

I believe that we are moving in the right direction of a more open and transparent government

South Cowichan Senior’s Luncheon

 

Did you know that every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, there is a Lucheon for seniors of the South Cowichan?

It’s held at the Farmers Hall in Cobble Hill at 3550 Watson Ave. You can drop in and donations are welcome.

I went today with Amalia to see the event, which was attended by 100 people!! Here are a few photos to share.

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Al Garside being a great Emcee and host

Al Garside being a great Emcee and host

My daughter, Amalia, coming out for the event.

My daughter, Amalia, coming out for the event.

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Whole event is run by volunteers

Thank you Cobble Hill

Thank you Cobble Hill voting me in as the Cobble Hill Director.

I am overwhelmed right now with the phone calls, emails and support coming from the community. Thank you.

I believe that by focusing on the issues, knocking on doors and listening to the community, our campaign was able to to reach its goal.

I will continue that process of being open to the public and to hearing new ideas for the community.