Cowichan This Week – B.C. announces COVID-19 restart plan

Welcome to Cowichan This Week! This is your essential reading for staying connected to what’s up in the Cowichan Valley. If you want to receive this information straight to your inbox, sign up for our Cowichan Valley newsletter.

On Wednesday, Premier John Horgan announced British Columbia’s Restart Plan, a strategy to slowly ease restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

By mid-May, we can expect new rules and guidance, including:

  • The re-opening of some B.C. parks on May 14

  • The resumption of things like regular dental appointments, hair cuts and in-person counselling, with safety measures in place

  • Allowance for small gatherings of two-to-six people outside your household, while maintaining physical distance

I watched the news conference. And I left with more questions than answers about what the new rules will be, particularly about social interactions. 

Will it be OK to visit older relatives? Whom can you hug? Should you sign the kids up for summer camps?

The answer seems to be that it will largely be up to us as individuals and communities to navigate the risks.

I had to remind myself to take a breath. We are not being asked to change anything at this moment. We have some time to think this through. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a hotline you could call, to talk through these complicated decisions with someone with some expertise? What would you ask? Send me an email with your thoughts. 

We can figure this out, together.

News of the week

  • Good news! The water level at Cowichan Lake is above the height of the weir, according to an update from Catalyst Crofton. “We are in a much better position than normal for this time of year, with ample water ‘banked’ in the lake (and some snow-pack remaining) to keep Cowichan River running at a healthy flow this summer,” according to a post from the Cowichan Watershed Board.
  • The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society has set up a tenting site for women after the closure of the women’s night shelter due to pandemic-related staffing challenges, The Discourse Cowichan reports
  • The B.C. government will defer stumpage fees for three months to help the forestry industry through this pandemic, the Times Colonist reports
  • Cowichan Tribes has threatened action against construction and trucking companies whose work trucks have been photographed taking gravel or dumping garbage on reserve land, according to a news release
  • The CEO of the Island Corridor Foundation says Vancouver Island rail service could get back up and running for about $254 million, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. That’s in contrast to a B.C. government report released last week, which suggested the full cost could be more than $700 million.
  • Sampson McMullan, a Ladysmith Secondary School senior, has earned a $40,000 scholarship to attend Vancouver Island University in recognition of the adversity he has overcome, the Ladysmith Chronicle reports.

Community events

The community events section will now include scheduled events that take place online or by telephone. If you hear about something local coming up, let me know!

  • Through Friday, May 22: 🎨 The annual Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show has gone virtual. Check out great local art on the Cowichan Valley Arts Council website. 
  • Friday, May 8 to Saturday, May 9: 🌱 The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is hosting two days of virtual Youth Leadership Training.
  • Wednesday, May 13: 🤝 Join local counselling centre Time to Heal for an online talk on setting boundaries and building healthy relationships.
  • Thursday, May 14: 🌎 How will the planet bounce back from COVID-19? Get your questions for local leaders ready for a virtual town hall on #GreenRecovery, hosted by the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians, For Our Kids and One Cowichan. 
  • Friday, May 15: 🔍 Join The Discourse Cowichan for a virtual Public Newsroom at 3 p.m. Bring your questions about where we’re at, and tell us what coverage you need from us to get through COVID-19. Please register to get the Zoom link.
  • Saturday, May 16 – Monday, May 18: 🎤 The Cowichan Lake Idol singing contest has moved online! Email if you’d like to sing.

Photo of the Week

Wow-wee! What a gorgeous photo of Mount Prevost, from the perspective of Cowichan Bay, taken by Ken Thorne. Thanks so much, Ken, for sharing!

Do you have a great photo of life in Cowichan? Send me an email, I’d love to see what this place looks like through your lens.

Campaign update

I’m delighted to report that 21 new supporters have joined the community powering The Discourse Cowichan! That means we’re well on our way to meeting our goal of 100 new supporters by May 23. 

Tamara Leigh shared on Facebook this week: “If you appreciate meaningful research and thoughtful writing about what’s going on in our community, think about becoming a monthly supporter.”

If you haven’t already, head here to make your contribution. Anything helps. Thank you! [end]

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