No decision imminent on incinerator, says Cowichan Tribes chief

On Monday Chief William Seymour vehemently denied rumours that Cowichan Tribes and the Khowutsun Development Corporation are close to approving the building of an incinerator on Cowichan Tribes land in Glenora.

Seymour took steps Monday to clarify the situation after what he called a "slanderous" and "presumptuous" flyer was circulated claiming the incinerator was planned for a spot just one block from the Cowichan Tribes elementary school, and was just days away from approval.

The flyer went on to claim that "the toxic effects from this plant would endanger human health," and urged people to contact Seymour and other Tribes officials in protest.

"It is unfortunate the potential project has been leaked in such a manner," said Seymour in a press release. "Cowichan Tribes leadership assures we will not proceed with any major project regarding waste to energy if it compromises the health and safety of our membership and Cowichan Valley citizens."

The project does appear to be under consideration, however.

Chief and council have explored a number of ideas that could help create employment for Tribes, the press release noted. "It is our responsibility to turn to community regarding endeavors drawn from membership mandate, so if upon project

review findings, leadership feels a project is worthy of consideration, then we will go to Cowichan Tribes members through a series of information sessions," Seymour said. "It is most important to make clear that Cowichan Tribes leadership has surely not given final approval to a major project and will not approve of any hazardous development that could potentially endanger anyone in the Cowichan Valley."

Glenora Area Director Loren Duncan said discussions about the potential project have taken place at the Cowichan Valley Regional District, though they have no authority over Tribes lands. To date, those discussions have taken place in camera and Duncan said he thus could not comment further.