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Cowichan residents have been clear in support of Parks Acquisition Fund

A decade later pressing our elected representatives to fulfill our clearly expressed wishes.

Cowichan residents have been clear in support of Parks Acquisition Fund

Re: Regional Parks Acquisition Fund

As a member of the public advisory panel that produced the CVRD’s Parks and Trails Master Plan in 2007, I am alarmed to hear that politicians are again signalling that they might reduce or even eliminate the Regional Parks Acquisition Fund.

This select panel was charged with consulting the public and much to our collective delight there was overwhelming support for parks and trails even to the extent of a willingness to create a modest acquisition fund in the style of the CRD and other progressive jurisdictions. Fully 76 per cent of respondents in a region-wide 2006 household survey were on board. (They were willing to pay between $10 and $50 per year in additional taxes to acquire more parks and trails.)

In November 2008, the CVRD held a referendum at some taxpayer expense soliciting public reaction to the imposition of a parks acquisition fund. (The formula to be voted on was $5 per $100,000 assessed value.) Advertising exhorted citizens to “MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT” and they did with more than 70 per cent approval!

It was a stunning setback when in 2009 the CVRD board chose to trim back the parks acquisition levy in defiance of the referendum result.

In 2010 the CVRD Environment Commission passed the following motion: “That it be recommended to the board that the full allocation of the Regional Parkland Acquisition Fund in the coming year be supported.”

Here we are a decade later pressing our elected representatives to fulfill our clearly expressed wishes. It is time to comply!

Roger Wiles

North Cowichan

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