cowichan news and events
Our photo of the week: A big thanks to Jan Kotaska for this photo of a gorgeous and slightly scary spider’s web, lit up by Cowichan Bay’s magic light. Send your photo submissions to jacqueline@thediscourse.ca
Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week – Almost the Halloweekend!

How to celebrate safely, new COVID rules, a bill to keep freighters off the coast and more local news and events.
Shalu Mehta October 29, 2020

Welcome to Cowichan This Week, your source for the latest local news and events. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Thursday.


News and announcements

  • Planning Halloween celebrations? The Discourse has put together tips for COVID-19 safety, based on official recommendations from Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BC Centre for Disease Control. If you’re considering a fireworks display, keep in mind that a permit is required in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
  • COVID-19 case numbers in B.C. soared to record highs in recent days. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued a new order restricting gatherings in private homes to no more than six people outside the household. In a public statement on Monday, she said gatherings should be restricted to a maximum “safe six” people in a household’s close and exclusive social bubble. Additionally, masks in public indoor spaces are now the “expectation,” though not mandated.
  • In preliminary results from last week’s B.C. election, Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is poised to keep her Cowichan Valley seat. Incumbent Doug Routley with the BC NDP will return to work in Nanaimo-North Cowichan. 
  • A community group has a proposal to bring a world-class public art gallery to downtown Duncan, My Cowichan Valley Now reports. The Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery Society wants to begin consultations with the City of Duncan on the plan. 
  • A survey on visions and values in North Cowichan shows strong support for environmental protection, sixmountains.ca reports. Full survey results are available online
  • The City of Duncan is consulting residents on plans for a new roundabout in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood. The survey is available through the PlaceSpeak platform
  • At a special meeting on Oct. 26, the Municipality of North Cowichan council declined to reconsider its decision to extend a temporary use permit for a wedding venue business on a property that is not zoned for it, amid complaints from some neighbours. In a previous decision, council went against a staff recommendation to decline the extension, instead allowing for a maximum of four weddings through Oct. 31, 2021. After that decision, the property owners posted on Facebook that the decision would devastate their business, leading to a flood of emails to the council asking for a reconsideration. The permit extension, allowing four weddings over the next year, remains in place.
  • Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, has introduced a bill to Parliament that would ban freighters from anchoring in coastal waters off Vancouver Island’s east coast, according to a news release. Chief Joan Brown of Penelakut Tribe has signed a letter in support of the legislation.
  • “This isn’t over,” say the15 Canadian youth who are suing the federal government over impacts of climate change. They plan to appeal a Federal Court ruling throwing out their case. Sierra Robinson of the Cowichan Valley is among the plaintiffs in the case. 

Community events

  • Thursday, Oct. 29 – Saturday, Oct. 31: 🎃 McNab’s Corn Maze, near Ladysmith, will welcome guests every day through Halloween, with COVID-19 protocols in place. 
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 👻 Halloween isn’t cancelled in Youbou, where witches and ghouls are welcome to join an online photo contest and COVID-friendly trick-or-treating at the Youbou Hall. 
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 🕷️ The Shawnigan Lake Community Association is hosting a number of online Halloween contests, as well as a Creepy Crawl through town. 
  • Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7: 🌱 Youth ages 15 to 30 are invited to participate in a hands-on workshop on ecological restoration with expert plant ecologist David Polster, hosted by the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. 
  • Through Nov. 15: 💪 The Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting an online auction to support youth mental health programs in the Cowichan Valley. 
  • Monday, Nov. 9 through Thursday, Nov 19: 🚜 The Young Agrarians are hosting an Online Land Forum, a series of workshops about leasing land for farming. Registration is required.

If you’re planning an event that I should consider for an upcoming list, send me an email.


In your words

“I have set up monthly support to The Discourse, I absolutely enjoy your journalism,” Rob wrote to reporter Shalu Mehta this week. “The Discourse meaning the world to you shows through in your journalism, keep up the excellent work!”

Thanks to you, Rob, and to all who make this work possible.