Shawnigan’s Sonia Furstenau joins Greens for provincial race

Sonia Furstenau, the director for Shawnigan Lake, is seeking the BC Green Party’s nomination for Cowichan Valley

Sonia Furstenau, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s director for Shawnigan Lake, is seeking the BC Green Party’s nomination for Cowichan Valley in the next provincial election.

Furstenau, who is also one of the leaders in the ongoing fight against the controversial contaminated soil-treatment facility in Shawnigan Lake, said she’s seeking to represent the Valley on behalf of the Green Party in the legislature because she firmly believes water protection has to be a significant issue in the next election in 2017.

She said the Liberal government has “completely rejected” its responsibilities to citizens in regards to water protection in the province, particularly in the issue of the contaminated soil facility on Shawnigan Lake, which is owned by South Island Aggregates and Cobble Hill Holdings.

“No community in B.C. should be forced to fight its own government in order to protect its water, and I am motivated to do all that I can to prevent others from having to endure the nightmare we’ve been through,” Furstenau said.

Furstenau said she decided to seek the nomination of the Greens for the riding because she feels the party reflects her “principles and values.”

The deadline for nominations was Wednesday.

“The core principles of the Green Party, the recognition that we must ensure a livable climate for future generations, and the commitment to economic, social, environmental and fiscal responsibility very much reflect my values and beliefs,” Furstenau said.

“The Green Party took more than 19 per cent of the vote in the Valley in the last provincial election, so there is a strong base already here to build on.”

Furstenau said that if she is successful in attaining the nomination today, she intends to continue her work on the board of the CVRD until the spring.

She said she will then take a leave of absence during the election campaign.

“The outcome of the election will determine my next steps,” Furstenau said.

“Regardless, I remain in service and committed to the Shawnigan community and the Cowichan Valley.”