Lefebure returned as CVRD chair, Day vice-chair

Jon Lefebure will remain chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District for another year.

Jon Lefebure will remain chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District for another year.

Directors in the CVRD voted 10-4 at its meeting on Dec. 14 to retain Lefebure over Ian Morrison, the director for Electoral Area F, who was the only other candidate for the position of chairman.

Bob Day, who was the only nominee for vice-chairman of the board, will keep the position for another year as well.

Lefebure, who will be serving his third term as chairman of the CVRD, is also the mayor of North Cowichan and chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District.

He said his main priorities as he continues as chairman of the CVRD are to continue a number of major projects and initiatives that the board has been pursuing recently.

They include continuing to work with Cowichan Tribes to deal with water-flow concerns in the Cowichan River, which has been facing issues related to drought and climate change.

“The district will also move forward with work on our relations with First Nations in regards to truth and reconciliation, and continue to move ahead with plans for a new hospital in the Valley,” Lefebure said.

B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake recommended in September that the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District move forward into the conceptual-planning phase for a new, approximately $350-million Cowichan District Hospital.

Lefebure said the hospital district, which has put aside more than $27 million in a reserve fund for the project so far, is currently waiting for the green light from the Ministry of Health to move forward with the conceptual plan.

“The process would be that Island Health would make a recommendation to the government in regards to the conceptual plan, and the government would then inform us to develop the plan,” he said.

“We have money in our reserve fund at this stage to cover the costs.”

As for all the combined pressures of his many political positions in the region, Lefebure said they all tend to “mesh together very well.”

“I find that many of the interests of the CVRD and North Cowichan are the same, so much of it all fits together,” he said. “I really enjoy the work.”