Cow Bay causeway zoning issue provincial jurisdiction

Jobs are important. The environment is important.

Cow Bay causeway zoning issue provincial jurisdiction

Jobs are important. The environment is important. The rezoning application for the causeway in Cowichan Bay presents the CVRD with a very difficult dilemma. A company is operating on the causeway in non-compliance with the land use zoning. That company also employs a number of Cowichan Valley residents. Further complicating the issue is the location of the company’s industrial operations. It is in a sensitive estuary and on a floodplain. A jobs versus the environment dilemma for the CVRD.

A little sleuthing reveals a big surprise. The CVRD should not be burdened with this problem. This situation is clearly the responsibility of the provincial government. The land in question is owned by the province; they are the landlords. The defining document for land use in the Cowichan estuary is the Cowichan Estuary Environmental Management Plan, established by and managed by the provincial government. Another provincial document, Guidelines for Management of Coastal Flood Hazard Land Use, sets the parameters for zoning in a floodplain.

The province owns the land. The province controls the leases. The province sets the land use standards. But the province remains mute on this important decision, preferring to abdicate it’s responsibility and pass the buck to the CVRD. It is time the provincial government took responsibility for the problem they created. The province is the landlord that turned a blind eye to a lessee operating a non-compliant industrial operation in the Cowichan estuary.

We cannot afford to lose jobs in the Cowichan Valley but we also cannot afford to put the Cowichan Bay estuary at risk. There are three water access industrial use zones within the CVRD. Bamberton, Crofton, and Chemainus all have zones that could accommodate the company now operating on the Cowichan Bay causeway. The CVRD does not have the tools or resources to facilitate a solution of this magnitude; the provincial government does.

We now have a government that purports to represent workers AND the environment. It is time to test that theory. The provincial government must find a way to save the jobs AND protect the environment. The CVRD must hand the problem back to the province with a simple statement; you created the problem, you fix it.

Cal Bellerive

Cowichan Bay

Just Posted

A target all season, Brentwood pulls off repeat

Senior boys couldn’t hide under the radar this year

Different draw might have meant different result for Shawnigan

Stags place fifth in province after entering as eighth seed

Lexi Bainas column: We have so much talent in the Cowichan Valley. Let’s celebrate it!

On top of good shows at Valley for-profit venues, there are great amateur performances as well

Girls flag football league holding another session

Try the sport at McAdam Park Monday at 6 p.m.

Tribute honours country superstars Twitty and Lynn

This Saturday, March 17, at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, starting at 7:30 p.m.

UPDATED: Brake failure sees plane crash into gate; nobody injured

Rescue crews headed to the scene at Stamps and Henderson Roads.

Coming up in Cowichan: Public speaking, water, food preservation

The Justice for the Peace Island tour is stopping in Duncan on Wednesday, March 21.

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read