Cowichan This Week – Light at the end of the tunnel

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

  • On Wednesday, Health Canada approved the first vaccine for COVID-19 for use in Canada. In a news conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry emphasized the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and her trust in the process that led to its approval. Henry expects the first doses to arrive in B.C. next week, to be given to health-care workers in the Lower Mainland. The province anticipates that vaccines will be widely available a few months into 2021. Earlier this week, the province extended restrictions on gatherings and mask requirements through Jan. 8, 2021. 
  • At a meeting on Tuesday, the Town of Lake Cowichan’s finance and administration committee directed staff to draft bylaw amendments to allow backyard chickens. Town council will hear public input after it accepts the draft rules.
  • Cowichan Tribes Chief WIlliam Seymour has accepted all the recommendations in the final report of the Cowichan Tribes Opioid Crisis Response Task Force. The report calls for aggressive action to prevent overdoses, including continued harm reduction and education campaigns and establishing detox and treatment centres for the First Nation.
  • On Monday members of the Rain4est Flying Squad blocked access to road building crews to prevent logging of old growth trees in the Bugaboo Creek area of the Walbran Valley, north of Port Renfrew. The activists intend to maintain the blockade for as long as it takes to prevent road building, according to a news release
  • The COVID-19 Task Force for Vulnerable Populations is preparing to install heated wooden structures at tenting sites to shelter people through this winter, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. Two of five tenting sites in the region remain in operation. Residents of the closed tenting sites have moved to other shelters or accommodations. 
  • The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society has asked hikers and mountain bikers to avoid Mount Tzhouhalem’s Kaspa Road trailhead at peak times. The parking lot has seen increased usage this year, leading to concerns over physical distancing and the overflow of cars and people into neighbouring streets. 
  • The Cowichan Lake Elder Care Society has progressed towards its goal of building new affordable housing for seniors in Lake CowichanIn a Facebook post, the society reports that it has secured project development funding, hired an architect and completed land use studies, among other milestones. 

 

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Have your say

  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District has released preliminary design plans for the replacement of the weir at Cowichan Lake. The team will take feedback and questions on the plans online and at a live virtual presentation on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m
  • BC Transit is asking for feedback on public transportation options between the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo. The survey is open through Dec. 18. 
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District is currently accepting feedback on its 2021 budget through the PlaceSpeak platform. 
  • The City of Duncan wants residents’ feedback on its 2021 budgetVisit PlaceSpeak to learn more and provide input. Staff will submit the feedback to council on Feb. 1, 2021.
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan invites residents to participate in its 2021 budget process through a series of virtual meetings. The next one is on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan is seeking nine volunteers to join its reinstated Environmental Advisory Committee. Applications are available online or by calling 250-746-3103.
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan is accepting feedback on its proposal to reroute sewage outfall in Cowichan Bay. It will accept comments via PlaceSpeak, email or letter mail. 
  • The Town of Ladysmith is looking for volunteers for its Official Community Plan steering committee. Applications are due by Jan. 4. 
  • The Town of Lake Cowichan is seeking applications to join its Advisory Planning Commission. Letters of interest must be received at the town hall by Dec. 17.

Community events

  • Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13: 🥕 The Duncan Farmers Market is hosting a special two-day winter market. Due to provincial health orders related to COVID-19, only food vendors will sell at the market. The Duncan Farmers Market has listed non-food vendors and encourages community members to shop with them online. 
  • Through Thursday, Dec. 24: 🎁 Tourism Chemainus presents the 25 Days of Chemainus advent calendar, with daily opportunities to celebrate and support local businesses. 
  • Fridays in December: 🛍️ Downtown Duncan invites you to Festive Fridays, with extended shopping hours at select businesses.

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


Community shout-out

A few weeks back we sent out a survey asking what’s making you feel hopeful, and which people and groups are making a difference where you live.

“I value the Duncan Showroom because they continue to foster arts and culture in our community even when they must limit the number of people at the venue and/or rely on online formats. We need the arts and culture in these troubling times more than ever,” says Debbie Bateman.

So true! I’ve asked reporter David Minkow to check in with the Showroom and some of the other local arts venues. I look forward to sharing what he learns!

Got a shout-out? Send me an email! [end]

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