Sonia Furstenau, MLA for the Cowichan Valley, spoke to council in North Cowichan on June 20 on local issues. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Furstenau talks issues in North Cowichan

Water, environment and poverty among concerns of Cowichan Valley’s MLA

It’s time for senior levels of government to recognize that they have a responsibility to assist local governments with their water issues, according to the MLA for the Cowichan Valley.

Sonia Furstenau told North Cowichan’s municipal council at its meeting on June 20 that water issues in the Valley are important to all its communities and both the province and Ottawa need to become more involved in finding solutions.

Climate change and other factors are causing droughts and other water-related issues in the region more frequently in recent years than ever before.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District intends to hold a referendum as part of this fall’s municipal elections on establishing a water service function that would deal with local watershed management issues as a region.

Furstenau, who has been visiting all local governments in her riding in recent weeks, said she wants to make sure she’s connected and constructively working with all the councils and boards in the Valley to ensure all are collaborating together on important issues.

Furstenau said she’s pleased that the government has decided to re-evaluate and make changes to the province’s professional reliance model and its environmental assessment process, both issues that she has worked on since the provincial election last year.

During the last 10 years of Liberal rule in B.C., the government had increasingly relied on professionals hired by companies to provide environmental assessments of projects instead of the past practice of having independent professionals provide the information, and the NDP-Green government is looking to make changes.

RELATED STORY: CV OFFICIALS WELCOME REVIEW OF PRM

As well, the government announced in March that it will re-evaluate the environmental assessment process for major projects in B.C. and will be turning to the public to provide feedback on what changes they would like to see in the process.

RELATED STORY: FURSTENAU HOPES REVIEW WILL RESTORE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE

“These were two of the main issues that prompted me to get involved in provincial politics in the first place,” Furstenau told council.

Furstenau was one of the leaders in the successful fight to shut down the contaminated soil landfill near Shawnigan Lake last year.

She said she’s also concerned about the increasing numbers of “vulnerable” people across the Valley.

“Many people have fallen through the cracks, and we need to work on that,” Furstenau said.

“Our child welfare system has created a humanitarian crisis right here in the Valley, particularly among our Indigenous population. Much works need to be done and the effort requires provincial support.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley wrestlers combine for eight provincial podium finishes

Stephanie Mould and Emily Reid cap off high school careers with silver

Cow High wrestler Talon Hird captures fourth provincial title

Motivated Hird beats rival in B.C. final

Duncan family seeks return of stolen Crosby jersey

Hockey community rallies to replace boy’s gear after theft

Editorial: RCMP have their focus in the right place: drugs

There’s a lot of money involved in illegal drugs; some are doing very well off the misery of others.

Duncan Christian hosting Island girls A basketball championships

Five teams battle for two spots in provincials

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Coming up in Cowichan: Bowl for Kids; Leaders of Tomorrow

Bowl for Kids Sake coming up in Cowichan Valley on March 3… Continue reading

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Most Read