Drought used as an opportunity for CVRD empire building

North Cowichan – Re: River’s drought crisis brought action to change the future, Jan. 2, 2015 Our recent dry summers have taken a toll on the Cowichan River. Salmon had to be trucked up the river to save the spawn. An arm, of the river at the delta ran dry. The obvious solution was that more water had to be stored in Cowichan Lake in order to protect the flow down the river during dry periods. It is a simple, cost effective, logical and an easy to manage solution.

However, the correct solution of increasing water storage at the lake was just too simple for local politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests. Their solution is to wrest control of the watershed from Victoria, and in the process create a new empire at the CVRD and new tax burdens for the citizens of our Valley.

So off the CVRD went, hired a consultant, and armed the consultant with their wish list, which of course is regurgitated in the consultant’s report. The output of that report includes, of course, a new bureaucracy with an annual budget of $1 million that will be professionally padded in short order.

North Cowichan’s three directors on the CVRD board, at the time, and now chaired by Mayor Lefebure, have given it their go-ahead.

This is another example of bad decision-making by our elected officials, bureaucrats and special interests. All that was requested was that more water be stored in Cowichan Lake to feed the Cowichan River during dry spells. What we are going to get is more empire building bureaucracy and more taxes.

We need elected officials that will put the simple, low cost solutions on the table.

Don Swiatlowski

North Cowichan

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