Future of Cowichan Bay estuary a no-brainer

We should be pursuing a path that gently encourages industry to move to other locations.

Future of Cowichan Bay estuary a no-brainer

When our family learned that the business that we had been operating on Waldy Road near Cowichan Bay since 1965 was deemed to be legal, non-conforming, we realized that it would be foolish to try and expand our operations at that location and that any future attempt to sell the business would necessitate moving the business to a suitably zoned site. Since we did have intentions of growing the business and could not rule out the possibility of a future sale, we took the proactive route and purchased land in an industrial park near Duncan in the mid 1980s.

We were good corporate citizens, had no quarrels with our neighbours and provided jobs and tax revenue for local government. In those ways, our situation was not unlike the current debate around industrial activities within the Cowichan estuary. Of course, we were not located on a vital sensitive eco-system, and we did not seek changes in local zoning to “legalize” our industrial activities.

Like any industrial business, we had equipment, some old and some new, powered by gas and diesel engines with hydraulic pumps and motors. We had leaks and spills and blown hoses at our facility, some small and some not so small, in spite of our best efforts to control and contain.

It was a different time then and I would like to believe that we as a society are getting smarter, but when we are discussing changes in zoning that would permanently enshrine ANY industrial activity in some of the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems in the entire Cowichan region, I have to wonder.

We should be pursuing a path that gently encourages industry to move to other locations. Bamberton or Duke Point for example, where they can thrive and grow and continue to provide jobs to locals, some of whom would likely have less of a commute than what they currently endure.

Does anyone remember the CVRD’s “12 Big Ideas” for a sustainable Cowichan? Bravely embraced by the regional district back in 2015, at least five of the 12 big ideas point in the direction of gradually clearing the estuary of all industrial activity if and when opportunity presents itself.

Let’s not forget that the decisions we make today will have long term impacts that can either move us towards a sustainable future, or guarantee that our amazing Cowichan Watershed will continue to die the death of a thousand cuts that has been steadily degrading it for more than 60 years.

The legacy of heavy industry is usually tragic, ugly and expensive, while the legacy of healthy, functional ecosystems is among the most beautiful and valuable legacies we can leave for our children and grandchildren.

David Slade

Cobble Hill

Just Posted

LAKE FLASHBACK: Garbage dumping and the Youbou sawmill: two subjects that never seemed to go away

Plus this week: LCSS rugby machine, and Lois Gage takes over Area I for hubby, John Ward

In Bloom Wildflower Festival celebrates spring in Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s annual event is back for its 13th year.

Once ‘The Foreigner’ arrives, everything changes in Tilghman County, Georgia

Funny, but touching, too, this play will have you in stiches. Don’t miss it

Mary Lowther column: Control your own food supply: grow out some seeds

I used to buy garlic bulbs, but now I’ve grown some out long enough to flower and produce bulbils

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Cowichan Coffee Time: Awards, new digs and fundraising totals

• St. John Ambulance First Responder Divisional Superintendent Glyn Trafford got a… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read