Hi there, over the last few weeks, I’ve been busy finishing my first story about the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit and media coverage of it. The piece is scheduled to be published next Wednesday, so I look forward to sharing it with you then.
The other major thing on my mind these days is that this local news experiment with The Discourse is nearing a close. I’ve been on a six-month reporting contract, which ends in late July, but this doesn’t have to be the end. I hope both my reporting on Cowichan and my relationship with The Discourse will continue.
I’ve lived in the Cowichan Valley for three years, but it’s only been in the past six months that I’ve started to tune in to what’s happening here, politically and socially. As a former community newspaper reporter, that’s a strange thing to admit — but I don’t think I’m alone in feeling disconnected.
Local elections are coming up in October. In addition to selecting new political representatives, residents of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) will vote on at least two referendum questions. One would direct new funds to an affordable housing initiative; the other would establish new responsibilities for the CVRD to manage and protect water and the environment. In order to move ahead, each would require a majority of CVRD voters to agree to higher taxes to pay for it — a significant hurdle.
I’ve been thinking about the sort of information that Cowichan Valley residents need to make their decisions this fall, and what service I could provide as a journalist working here. And while the election seems like the obvious next thing to cover, there are lots of other things locals want to know more about, too.
Do you want my Cowichan reporting to continue? If so, please help me by clicking here to send a message describing why you value this work, and what you want it to look like in the future.
I hope you have an excellent long weekend. There’ll be Canada Day festivities in downtown Duncan as part of the 39 Days of July festival, at the BC Forest Discovery Centre, and at the ball field and community hall in Mesachie Lake. Lake Cowichan’s Laketown Ranch will also be rocking this weekend, with a three-day festival headlined by Collective Soul and more.
I moved to Youbou last month, and hope to spend the weekend enjoying life by the lake and working on my house and garden.
Jacqueline Ronson is one of reporters participating in The Discourse’s Local News Fellowship. This year’s fellowship aims to support sustained coverage of issues related to energy and the environment in communities underserved by the media.