Jon Lefebure has announced he will run again for mayor of the Municipality of North Cowichan in the upcoming municipal elections.
Lefebure has been mayor of North Cowichan for a total of 13 years.
He was first elected to council in 1999, served as mayor from 2002 to 2008, was out of office for three years, and then served as mayor again for the last seven years.
Lefebure said North Cowichan is currently dealing with a number of important issues and his long experience at the helm of the municipality would be helpful in dealing with them.
He said the affordable housing crisis in the community is one of the main ones, and the municipality is working with senior levels of government to find ways to address the problem.
“Housing issues in North Cowichan cover a whole spectrum, and range from the absolutely homeless to those who can afford homes, but can’t find anywhere to stay,” Lefebure said.
“I was in a business in Chemainus recently and was told by the owners that they would like to hire two more workers, but there isn’t any available housing in the area for them to live. We have two levels of concern. The first is how to deal with the least fortunate that have no homes, and also how can our economy develop without adequate housing?”
Lefebure said there are also a number of environmental issues that council is dealing with that he would like to see through.
He said council has been working hard to figure out how best to deal with toxic algae and other environmental concerns around Quamichan and Somenos lakes, as well as lower water flows in the Cowichan River related to climate change.
“We also have a lot of work to do in land-use issues,” Lefebure said.
“We’ve been struggling with our engagements with the public in issues around the urban containment boundary. People in these areas see a pastoral setting around them and have trouble accepting plans for higher-density projects. We’ve not done a great job presenting plans to implement the official community plan within the UCB to the public.”
North Cowichan councillors Al Siebring and Joyce Behnsen have also tossed their hats in the ring so far to run for mayor in the municipal elections, scheduled for Oct. 20.
Lefebure is also currently chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
The chairperson of the CVRD, which has three North Cowichan council members on its board, is chosen by the district’s directors after the election.