Nicholson targets community consultation

Alison Nicholson aims to lead Area E in more collaboration with other areas in the Cowichan Valley Regional District to address regional issues if she is elected as area director in November.

Nicholson, a management consultant, and her partner have lived in the area since 2001.

She became interested in community building, and got involved in the project to create the Hub at the former Cowichan Station School, a venture that has seen marked success.

"I found that really, really inspiring that so many people in the community care about the community and are willing to get engaged and involved," she said.

Her professional experience lends itself well to the kind of work that directors do, Nicholson said, and she’d like to bring a more community-based, grass-roots approach to local government.

"I feel a lot of improvement could be made in that area," she said. "I haven’t been satisfied with the level of community involvement and consultation."

Area E must better work with the regional district as a whole,

she said, to address the serious issues facing the Valley, such as steps to take to protect Cowichan’s vital watersheds. "I think a lot of issues, like water, are regional in nature, so we really need to have those conversations and think about what’s best for the region as a whole," Nicholson said.

She sees the upcoming review of the Area E official community plan as a real opportunity set the area up for a solid future.

Nicholson said she also brings the ability to listen to the table.

"I think we need to do a lot more listening," she said.