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Business notes: Cowichan’s This Rides 4 U celebrates first anniversary

The latest from Cowichan’s business community
Cowichan’s This Rides 4 U wheelchair services is celebrating its first anniversary. Pictured is owner Rob Darwin (right) and driver William Wagar. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

It’s been a good year for Cowichan’s This Rides 4 U wheelchair services, which is celebrating its first anniversary this month.

The business provides secure and attentive transportation services in a van and newly acquired shuttle bus that are equipped with wheelchair lifts and other amenities to help bring some independence back to those with ambulatory limitations, other specialized needs, including those with emotional, cognitive or physical conditions, as well as seniors.

This Rides 4 U is owned by the Valley’s Rob Darwin, who has first-hand experience with the need for specialty transportation in the region and knows the true value of maintaining personal independence and safe travel.

The business started with one van last year, but bought the much larger shuttle bus as business began picking up and Darwin said he’s now looking for another shuttle bus to add to the fleet to keep up with the demand.

“We started slow, but we began to quickly build a clientele base and it’s just gotten busier all the time,” Darwin said.

“A lot of people in the region need our transportation services, including those with disabilities and seniors.”

Darwin said his service can handle a variety of wheelchair types, including custom, bariatric and power chairs, and even mobility scooters.

He said the service also provides two fully trained full-time drivers and one on-call with valid first-aid certificates, as well as having clean driving abstracts.

“Seeing how much we’ve grown just over the last few months has been a real eye opener for us,” Darwin said.

“This Rides 4 U has been approved by Veterans Affairs Canada, Island Health and ICBC.”

For more information, call 250-732-5898 or go to


Rob Gough will be the new president and CEO of Mosaic Forest Management, which manages the forest planning, operations and product sales for TimberWest and Island Timberlands, taking over from Jeff Zweig as of Sept.1.

Gough has nearly 30 years of international natural resources experience, serving most recently as Mosaic’s senior vice president and chief commercial officer and, before that, within the mining sector at Coalspur and in progressively senior leadership positions at BHP.

“The board is pleased to welcome Rob as Mosaic’s next president and CEO,” said Jake Kerr, chair of the Mosaic board.

“Rob is a successful leader and people manager and has a proven track record in business development, value creation, and change management. He played an instrumental role in the creation of Mosaic, Canada’s largest privately-owned timberlands producer, through the affiliation of TimberWest and Island Timberlands.”

Gough said it’s truly an honour to lead Mosaic, with its long and proud history of more than a century.

“Now is a time of great opportunity to build an even stronger future for Mosaic with our relentless focus on safety and sustainable forest management, while growing strong customer relationships and First Nations partnerships with our team of deeply talented and dedicated employees and contractors,” he said.


Larry Mattin, a director of instruction in the Cowichan Valley school district, is among 34 education professionals from throughout B.C. who have been named as finalists in this year’s Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education.

Launched in 2018, the awards honour public, independent and First Nations school teachers, principals, vice-principals, school and district leaders, and support staff who go above and beyond to make life better for K-12 students in B.C.

“The Premier’s Awards provide students, parents, teachers and other members of the community with an opportunity to celebrate those who make a real difference in B.C. schools,” the PAEE website said.

This year, 10 awards will be given; two honouring teachers, three recognizing school leaders and three for district leaders, and two honouring support staff.

During the nomination period, from Oct. 5, 2021 to March 31, 2022, 113 nominations were received.

The 10 award winners will be announced at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 14.


Voting ends at midnight on Aug. 25 for the Cowichan Valley Citizen’s 2022 Best of the Valley competition, so if you haven’t voted yet, now’s the time.

The Best of the Valley 2022 is an initiative that allows the newspaper’s readers to vote on who they feel is the best local company, organization, place and event in dozens of categories.

They include the best restaurant, florist, car repair shop, pub, home improvement store and best romantic getaway in the Cowichan Valley.

Participants in Best of the Valley are required to fill out a minimum of 20 nominations for their entry to be valid.

Each complete ballot qualifies the participant to win a $300 gift card for Adam’s Tarp & Tool.

To check out the contenders and to vote, go to


Duncan’s H&R Block is inviting people to register for one of Canada’s most comprehensive in-person tax training programs.

The tax preparation company said participants in the program will have the opportunity to apply to work with H&R Block and build a flexible career.

The company said the total course time is 69 hours and the local in-class sessions will work within the schedules of the participants.

H&R Block said the course takes a unique approach to tax training, with complete real-world exercises with live instructors in a classroom-style course learning tax theory with the latest tax preparation software.

“Learn tax theory and skills that can lead to a fulfilling career with H&R Block,” the company said.

“Learn from the best and receive a certificate of completion and education tax credit receipt.”

Call 250-748-1742 to register, or visit the office at #3, 5845 Trans-Canada Highway in Duncan.

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Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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