Change brings breath of fresh air to CVRD

Optimism. That’s been the pervading feeling this week as municipal governments in the Cowichan Valley have sworn in their newly-elected members.

The Nov. 15 elections saw a lot of changeover in some areas, with many new, young faces joining the more experienced returnees at board and council tables. Our previous governments have done a pretty good job overall, but the new blood really has injected a lot of energy and enthusiasm into what can become rather staid and routine proceedings.

Nowhere was that more on display than at the inaugural meeting of the Cowichan Valley Regional District Wednesday evening.

A packed house was there to welcome four brand new faces to the board table – five if you count Municipality of North Cowichan representative Rob Douglas who was elected to his first term last month.

That’s more new blood than we’ve ever seen at the CVRD.

Change was in the air immediately.

Newcomer Matteus Clement, representing Area C, suggested that directors be able to ask questions of those who were nominated for the position of board chair.

The brand new directors, in particular, wanted more information as they were not familiar with the personalities involved.

We admit, we experienced the same trepidation at the idea that some of the directors expressed.

Those of us who’ve followed the CVRD, or sat on it, for any length of time are painfully familiar with the sometime-propensity of the 15-person body to descend into exhausting, repetitive and lengthy discussion that can end without a decision being made.

“Questions” become a thinlyveiled way to make speeches. We were wrong.

What happened next was like a breath of fresh air.

Each of the four new directors asked one question apiece, which was answered in turn by each of the candidates. Returning directors refrained from muddying the waters.

Dir. Sonia Furstenau of Area B told the board that the answers helped her to make up her mind on who to vote for.

For the CVRD this was a huge departure, and an amazing display of cooperation and getting the job done.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure, who proved to be the successful candidate for the chairmanship, expressed afterwards what many were thinking. He pointed out, rightfully, how well the adoption of a new idea had gone, and admitted he’d sat at the table for years and never thought to ask questions of the candidates before. Change can be a really good thing.

This could prove to be a watershed moment for the board. It certainly provides some momentum for them to build upon.

Just Posted

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Flashback: Library concerns, a new park and new seniors plans

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through old… Continue reading

Take your family to the Cobble Hill Fair this Saturday

Animals, rides, those wonderful displays in the hall, food and fun in store in Cobble Hill

Motor circuit expansion proposal to go to public hearing

North Cowichan gives applications third readings at packed meeting

Firefighters can’t burn down houses anymore, so they need a training facility

In the old days, everyone gathered to watch a ‘practice fire’, safety regulations won’t allow that now

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

Most Read