Cowichan Tribes, Western Stevedoring and Pacific Industrial & Marine have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a cooperative working relationship regarding the Cowichan Terminal.
Both Western Stevedoring and PIM have operations on the terminal, located in Cowichan Bay, and the MOU is intended to establish a relationship between the three parties that will set up a framework involving learning, understanding and collaboration, thereby positioning the parties for success in future mutually beneficial opportunities related to the terminal, according to a press release.
“Cowichan Bay is of pivotal importance to Cowichan Tribes, as it has provided sustenance for our people since time immemorial,” said Cowichan Tribes Acting Chief Cindy Daniels.
“Having greater involvement in the future of the terminal will help us achieve our goals for environmental and economic enhancement for Cowichan Tribes.”
The MOU calls on the three parties to communicate with each other regularly, with a number of topics identified for discussion.
These include collaboration on projects like fish and wildlife inventories, setting stewardship and restoration objectives for the Cowichan River and estuary, and addressing the heritage interests of Cowichan Tribes.
Economic opportunities that could jointly benefit all parties, including education and job training have also been identified as key priorities under the MOU.
Brian Thacker, president of PIM, the major tenant and operator on the terminal, said that as a long-time resident of the Cowichan Valley, he is deeply committed to the ongoing and future success of the terminal and supporting the jobs of the more than 70 people who work there, as well as protecting the ecological health of the bay.
Bill Mooney, president of Western Stevedoring, said the company is pleased to sign the MOU which emphasizes its commitment to learning how to best work with and support local communities and First Nations where the company operates in coastal waters on Vancouver Island and the B.C. Mainland.