Have your say on CVRD water issues in February. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)

Coming up in Cowichan: Justice, cops and water

Learn about restorative justice

Warmland Restorative Justice Society is a non-profit society whose purpose is to administer community based justice programs and services, and they’d like people in Cowichan to learn more about them.

They have been providing alternative resolutions and a peace making mechanism for conflict in the community for the Cowichan Valley since April 2012.

Warmland Restorative Justice Society are having an open door meeting for the public to attend on Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the afternoon from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Regional Library in the back meeting room at the Island Saving Centre, 2687James St., Duncan.

This is a free, casual meet and greet information meeting for those who wish to drop in and meet the volunteers and restorative justice facilitators.

People may wish to review the website in person, or have general questions answered regarding the restorative justice process. Questions for those interested in becoming a volunteer or restorative justice facilitator will also be answered. Additional questions can be emailed to warmlandrjs@gmail.com

“Restorative Justice strives to transform behavior via a formal forum in a respectful environment to resolve conflict and create a safer community,” says a press release.

Get coffee with a cop on Feb. 6

On Feb. 6 officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event goes from 10-11 a.m., at The Fishbowl Café at 580 Cairnsmore St.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in North Cowichan/Duncan neighbourhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Sgt. Chris Swain. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members, one cup of coffee at a time.

Have your say on CVRD water issues

In early 2017, the Cowichan Valley Regional District asked the community for input on the role of local government in addressing drinking water and watershed protection in the Cowichan watershed.

“Through this consultation, we heard loud and clear from the community that drinking water and watershed management challenges are not unique to one community or one watershed, but exist throughout the regional district,” explained CVRD Chair Jon Lefebure. “While our original engagement early last year focused on the Cowichan watershed specifically, through ongoing discussions with the community and stakeholder groups, we understand we need to look at a regional approach to drinking water and watershed management.”

Building on engagement activities in 2017, the CVRD will be reaching out to the community again throughout February to get input on possible options for a drinking water and watershed protection service for the region. There are a number of ways the public can provide their input – online at www.placespeak.com/drinkingwater or by attending one of the following open houses: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Cowichan Lake Sports Arena; Thursday, Feb. 8, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Island Savings Centre; Tuesday, Feb. 13, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Kerry Park Recreation Centre; Thursday, Feb. 15, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Frank Jameson Centre, Ladysmith.

The public’s input and further recommendations will be considered by the Regional Services Committee at its March 28 meeting.

More info: www.cvrd.bc.ca/drinkingwater or www.placespeak.com/drinkingwater

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