Christopher Justice is running for a seat on North Cowichan council.
I am running for council because I think we can do a better job — and a more creative job — looking after our special community and guiding it into the future.
I am a social scientist and worked at McMaster University for my professional life. My research was about how communities influence the health and well being of their members.
Since my family returned to the Cowichan Valley 10 years ago, I have been alarmed by the deterioration of water bodies like Quamichan Lake and the effect of urban sprawl on local ecosystems. I decided to take action and have been working with the North Cowichan Environmental Advisory Committee, Social Planning Cowichan, and the Quamichan Watershed Stewards.
My family has lived here for several generations — both sets of my grandparents farmed here since the 1930s. And I really hope my family will be here for many more generations.
That is why my platform is about sustainable community and long term thinking.
We must solve the problems of our times — housing affordability, water security, increasing taxes — but with a vision for the future.
We must find solutions that also preserve for future generations those things that make our community so special. The beauty of our environment. Our rural nature. The character of our diverse neighbourhoods and communities.
These things are gold, and not only for our own quality of life. These are the things that will be the basis for a future broadened economy; allowing continued development of innovative agriculture, attracting tourism that will come for our scenery and recreational opportunities, and attracting young entrepreneurs and footloose investors who can increasingly live anywhere they choose.
Council is made up of just seven citizens, but our community is filled with people with expert skills, expert knowledge, and expert understandings of their neighbourhoods. We must find ways of increasing the flow of ideas from the community to council.
Let’s work together toward a sustainable and thriving North Cowichan.