Sands Funeral Chapel and Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens recently presented a cheque for $3,000 to Cowichan Women Against Violence Society. On hand for the presentation were, from left, John McDonnell of Cedar Valley, Janice Winfrey (Sands), Troy Evans (Sands manager), Rob Egan (Cedar Valley) Ginette Aubin (Sands) and Adrienne Lait (Sands). CWAVS executive director Debbie Berg, centre, and Adria Borghesan, shelter supervisor accepted the generous donation. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Sands Funeral Chapel and Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens recently presented a cheque for $3,000 to Cowichan Women Against Violence Society. On hand for the presentation were, from left, John McDonnell of Cedar Valley, Janice Winfrey (Sands), Troy Evans (Sands manager), Rob Egan (Cedar Valley) Ginette Aubin (Sands) and Adrienne Lait (Sands). CWAVS executive director Debbie Berg, centre, and Adria Borghesan, shelter supervisor accepted the generous donation. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Business notes: Cowichan business community reacting to COVID-19 challenges

With COVID-19 changing the world, it should not be surprising that the Cowichan Valley is feeling the effects of this pandemic.

Businesses are feeling the pain in a variety of ways and the inevitable coping strategies are threatening jobs and the ability of many people to pay the bills and carry on with anything resembling a normal lifestyle.

Earlier this week, Ian Locke, executive director of the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Association, accompanied by the DBIA’s projects manager Amber Vance, made the rounds of the downtown core, checking on their members.

“The social responsibilities of managing the spread of this virus will have a significant economic impact on our community, including both business owners and employees,” Locke said.

“Our goal is always to support our local businesses and we are looking at ways we can continue to do so while also following provincial and federal health guidelines.

“After speaking with as many business owners and employees as possible the last couple of days, the Downtown Duncan BIA is continuing to work closely with city council, the City of Duncan, and our member businesses to gather more information about how our community can best respond to the ongoing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus in accordance with provincial and federal guidelines,” Locke said.

Locke says some early information about financial relief for small businesses and their employees can be found at: www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html

“Some businesses have closed, but others remain open and there are still ways to support the local economy while maintaining social distance,” Locke added.

“Through these challenging times, it is very important to do what we can to support local businesses by choosing to order food, supplies, and items by delivery or pick-up from our restaurants and retailers.

“We are monitoring the situation as it develops and will continue to provide updates on resources as they become available.”

• • •

Dave Devana, the former chief administrative officer of the Municipality of North Cowichan, has been appointed CEO of the Nanaimo Airport Commission.

Devana will replace Mike Hooper who is set to retire in June.

In a news release, the Commission said Devana has “extensive experience with negotiations, bargaining, communications, land use, leasing, governmental relations and funding, financial management, strategic planning, human resources and labour relations, information technology, innovation and most importantly leadership.”

“Mr. Devana brings a solid knowledge of complex administrative structures and a working knowledge of local government, which will assist in the airport’s collaboration with communities on the Island,” Wendy Clifford, chair of the Commission said in the release.

Devana left North Cowichan in March of 2017 under mysterious circumstances.

The municipality has never revealed the reasons for Devana’s departure, which is believed to have been accompanied by a large severance package, the details of which have also been closely guarded.

Then-mayor Jon Lefebure said Devana left by “mutual agreement” but refused to discuss what he termed a personnel matter.

Most recently Devana has been CAO for the Town of Cochrane, Alberta, a job he landed in October 2017.

Devana announced his resignation in late February, a move that appears to have caught the mayor and council of Cochrane, a community on the outskirts of Calgary by surprise.

Local media said Devana, who earned almost $242,000 in salary and benefits in 2018 as Cochrane’s CAO, shocked council with his resignation.

“All of council was taken aback by the resignation letter that we received Monday, but we’re going to move forward,” said Mayor Genung. “We’ve just got to put our heads down and get back to work.

“He didn’t give us a lot of details,” said Genung, “Other than that he was looking to get out of the public service life and move into possibly the private sector,” the Cochrane Times reported.

A week later, the Nanaimo Airport Commission, a not-for-profit authority under the Canada Corporations Act, announced it had hired Devana.

The Airport Commission is governed by a board of directors who are responsible for its corporate mandate, overall function of the airport, and the strategic direction for airport developments.

The current board is comprised of nine directors. Five members of these nine are nominated by entities and appointed by the board: City of Nanaimo, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, The Town of Ladysmith, CVRD and RDN. The remaining four directors are appointed by the board to represent the communities at large.

• • •

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is doing its best to keep members informed as the COVID-19 crisis intensifies.

All social events, including the Black Tie Awards in April, have been postponed and operations at the Visitor Information Centre have been curtailed.

“In recent days we’ve all been consumed with news on the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it’s affecting our health, our families and our businesses,” executive director Sonja Nagel noted.

“During this time, it’s critical to understand the economic impacts businesses anticipate in the weeks and months ahead, and how the government can support your business to ensure you stay viable.”

Nagel says the BC Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Small Business BC, Community Futures and the BC Economic Development Association to create a short survey for small and large businesses alike.

“Your feedback is critical and will be presented to different levels of government and will help them shape their response to this crisis,” Nagel said.

Visit the BC Chamber of Commerce website to complete the survey.

“As the Chamber continues to monitor the situation and follow recommendations of provincial and local health authorities, we will do our best to keep our members informed. In the interim, our Chamber eNews will only be circulated when we have updated information to share.

“Our small Chamber team will continue to work behind the scenes, while taking precautions to ensure a safe workplace and implementing social distancing measures. This may involve reduced office hours and team members working from home. It might also necessitate the temporary closure of the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre,” Nagel said.

“Please keep an eye on your inboxes and be sure to follow our social media pages for continued updates. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 250-748-1111.”

CoronavirusLocal Business

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Sign of the times: this property on View Street in Chemainus that exp Realty’s Debbie Simmonds had listed at $599,000 sold for $650,000. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Real estate market continues to soar in the Chemainus area

Multiple offers on properties common, leading to sales above listing prices

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry could have lessons for other provinces: lawyer

4 reports concluded the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime and the drug trade impacted the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Most Read