In regard to Jon Lefebure stating the need to raise taxes for ratepayers to make improvements to the Lake Cowichan weir.
This would in turn improve the community’s water supply. In the late 1950s the weir was constructed by B.C. Forest Products to assure a reliable and continuous water supply in order to insure it’s business viability. The community was much smaller then, and there was enough water for everyone.
Now Catalyst is the owner of the mill. They are by far and away the single largest consumer of water. The water licence they have from the B.C. government allows them to extract 60 million U.S. gallons per day. Although through water saving efforts they do not normally extract the full amount it is in the tens of millions daily.
Since the weir was constructed, the Crofton mill has implemented no permanent improvements to increase water capacity. Catalyst has in the last several years successfully lobbied local government to lower their taxes significantly. They receive a lower electricity rate from BC Hydro. They have permits from the province to release pollutants into the air, the ocean and to bury waste in the ground. I believe they are a stakeholder in the water supply along with the ratepayers.
The burden of this initiative should not fall completely on the people of the Cowichan Valley to insure the viability of the Crofton mill.