Guest column: Stay out of it

If you are one of the people that participated in the Community Satisfaction Survey, it is probably clear what it was trying to achieve.

Klaus Kuhn Area I

If you are one of the 612 people that participated in the CVRD Community Satisfaction Survey, it is probably clear to you what the survey was trying to achieve.

The first question was: Are you concerned about drinking water? Well, yes, everybody is concerned about drinking water, it is such a motherhood issue; and nobody would seriously say that they are not concerned about it.

No wonder then, 92 per cent of the survey respondents stated that drinking water is a concern to them. The immediately following questions all dealt with climate change, low lake levels, drought, etc.

Don’t be fooled by the survey. After peering through the smokescreen of climate change, low river levels, the sky is falling, etc., there is only one goal. That goal is to raise the Cowichan Lake weir and to increase your property taxes to pay for it.

The CVRD will soon hold public meetings to gauge your acceptance to pay the bill for the CVRD’s planned involvement with the weir and the control of the watershed. The meetings will be a follow-up to the survey.

An alternative approval process request will be presented in the following weeks after the public meetings.

I do not agree with this plan. The weir was built in the 1950s by the Crofton Mill to insure a reliable supply of water for its operation. It is presently owned and operated by Catalyst. The amount of water that can be released is stipulated by the B.C. government. So, the responsibilities are pretty clear.

The CVRD, and in turn you, the local taxpayer, have no involvement at this stage. And that is the way it should remain.

I consider it was wrong and cavalier for the CVRD some years ago to have announced: “We will take the lead”.

If there is concern about an insufficient supply of water for the Crofton Mill, the fish or the replenishment of the aquifers, then the B.C. government and Catalyst should solve that problem, it is theirs.

So, dear local taxpayer, be vigilant. Don’t be fooled into taking on responsibilities and costs that might turn out to be a real burden for you, your children and their children in the coming years.

You know how it is, once a service function at the CVRD is established, there is no going back.

Klaus Kuhn is the Cowichan Valley Regional District area director for Youbou/Meade Creek.