Area group campaigns for the pro-amalgamation side. (File photo)

Third-party pro-amalgamation campaign announced

“Cowichan [is] better together.”

That’s the word from Patrick Hrushowy and his group Cowichan Pro-Amalgamation as the campaign ramps up for the upcoming referendum on a North Cowichan-Duncan merger.

“Elections BC has approved my application for registration as a Local Election Advertising Sponsor,” Hrushowy said. “This means I can legally raise and spend money in the debate and discussions on the merits of amalgamation.”

He noted there are strict rules governing third party advertising and advocacy in local elections and referenda.

A former columnist for the now-defunct Cowichan News Leader-Pictorial, Hrushowy has long called for amalgamation.

Now he’s stepping up his efforts with the public campaign.

“Once both councils approved the referendum I began talking to people about getting support to run a ‘Yes’ campaign based on getting reliable factual information out to voters and encouraging them to take the time to vote,” he said. “I found the interest high and subsequently worked with a team to raise funds and assemble the necessary skills to run the campaign.”

Thus far, Cowichan Pro-Amalgamation has a set up a website (https://cowichanpro-amalgamation.com) and a Facebook page, along with an Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“We will also place radio and newspaper ads to both raise awareness that the vote is coming and we will be encouraging voters to vote ‘Yes’ because #cowichanbettertogether,” he said.

Hrushowy noted the group will note accept financial support from elected members of North Cowichan or Duncan and the group will adhere to Elections BC rules.

“We will file all required reports detailing how we spent our budget and who contributed financially to the campaign,” he said.

To date, the Citizen has not been notified of any campaigns on the “No” side of the debate.

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