Warren Goulding column: Auspicious start for new North Cowichan mayor

The swearing in ceremony for the Municipality of North Cowichan was a breath of fresh air

The swearing in ceremony for the Municipality of North Cowichan was a breath of fresh air in this over-heated political world we find ourselves in.

Given the daily barrage of garbage that finds its way up from south of the border and the wee bit of nastiness that surfaced in the local elections, Wednesday’s inaugural meeting was refreshing.

The six elected councillors — four of whom are brand new on the scene — wore smiles that spoke volumes about their pride and determination to do their best over the next four years.

Family members, politicians and school board trustees from neighbouring jurisdictions joined in the celebration. Also attending were defeated candidates who — with one notable exception — showed their class as they witnessed a vital part of our democratic process unfold.

Esteemed lawyer, poet and former mayor of Duncan, Michael Coleman noted in his charge to council that voters in North Cowichan had elected a very diverse council. Indeed we did.

Mayor Al Siebring, who delivered an address that earned the praise of many folks in the audience including the likes of Chemainus activist Bernie Jones and the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association’s Isabel Rimmer, articulated what might not have been immediately obvious.

Coun. Debra Toporowski became the first female First Nations member of a North Cowichan council. Tek Manhas is the first member of the South Asian community to join council. Coun. Rosalie Sawrie is the first member from the LGBTQ community.

It is clear that Siebring, an expert on the Community Charter and a stickler for procedure, is determined to put his mark on this council.

He started shortly after election by sitting down with each of the elected councillors to determine their areas of interest in the effort to come up with committee appointments that would be most appropriate. It was apparent the process had worked well.

Also encouraging was Siebring’s announcement that two new standing committees are being created, the Regulatory Review Committee and the First Nations Relations Committee.

Siebring has decided to take a look at a handful of “legacy committees” to determine if they are necessary. At least one of those committees — the underperforming Chemainus Advisory Committee — should be eliminated and one or two others have proven to be redundant or no longer relevant.

It was an auspicious start for the rookie mayor.

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Headlights and aftermarket fraudulent compliance markings

The “LED bulbs” now flooding the market are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product.

Cowichan Coffee Time: Skills win, and wreath laying in Ottawa

• The Cowichan Valley Board of Education is congratulating Cowichan Secondary School… Continue reading

Alistair MacGregor column: The Canada Revenue Agency wants to hear from Canadians about improving services

The purpose of the consultations is to listen and learn from Canadians

Robert Barron column: It’s good to see kids excited about education

A travelling salesman banged on our door and showed my parents an encyclopedia set

Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron celebrates its 60th anniversary

Many who take courses go on to become Canadian Power Squadron members.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read