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

Brentwood boys finish 13th at provincial XC meet

Keaton Heisterman 12th overall to lead Brentwood

UPDATED: Malahat point-to-point cameras receive strong support, public survey shows

The survey was conducted by the CRD safety commission this past February and March

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Light makes light work of Autumn Classic

Duncan runner finishes first in combined 10k+5k

Lake Cowichan institution closing its doors

A Lake Cowichan institution is closing its doors come Nov. 30. The… Continue reading

People flocking to Cowichan Bay to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over the floating breakwater

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read