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Cowichan Valley

Cowichan This Week – Overdose crisis intensifies, forest consultation delayed, quarry closes to public

Jacqueline Ronson July 23, 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

  • The Cowichan Tribes community is spearheading action on the overdose crisis in response to recent deaths, The Discourse Cowichan reports
  • The Municipality of North Cowichan has postponed public consultation on the future of the municipal forest reserve by 60 days. The Discourse Cowichan reports on what you need to know.
  • The owners of a popular swimming spot between Cobble Hill and Shawnigan Lake are restricting public access after a fatality at the site last month, CTV News reports. The owners say they hope to work with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to convert the property around Kingzett Lake, also known as The Quarry, into a public park. 
  • Conservationists are asking drivers to avoid Barnjum Road near Wake Lake, as baby western toads continue to migrate over the next couple weeks. The toads will also cross other local roads including Riverbottom Road near Barjum Road and Riverside Road in Cowichan Station, and most of the migration takes place at dawn and at dusk, says local biologist Genevieve Singleton.
  • RCMP arrested a man in Ladysmith for allegedly trying to force a woman into his carCTV News reports. Police suspect there may be other victims, and have asked those with information to come forward. 
  • Jean Zucht, 74, of Cobble Hill is walking 440 kilometres to raise $8,000 in support of Glenora Farm, a group that provides residential care and support to adults with developmental disabilities, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • North Cowichan has locked gates in the municipal forest reserve to restrict motorized access and reduce the risk of forest fires. 
  • The Cowichan Green Community is asking for community input on resiliency projects for McAdam Park, Cairnsmore and Centennial Park in Duncan. 
  • Cowichan and Penelakut elders are collaborating on a project to bring new Hul’q’umi’num’ signage and information panels to Salt Spring Island, Gulf Islands Driftwood reports
  • Earlier this month, members of the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society released about 3,000 salmon fry into Cowichan Lake, the Lake Cowichan Gazette reports
  • The Independent Investigations Office of BC will investigate police actions after a Duncan man died on the same day he was released from RCMP custody, CTV News reports

Community events

  • Friday, July 24: 🌵Join the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society for a Blackberry Bash! It’s a chance to help remove invasive Himalayan blackberry bushes from the sensitive marsh ecosystem. 
  • Saturday, July 25: 🍺 The HUB at Cowichan Station celebrates its reopening with a Welcome Back Pub. The outdoor patio event will feature local beer and Thorsten’s Authentic Food Truck. 
  • Saturday, July 25: 🍷 The Old Firehouse Wine Bar takes over Duncan City Square with an outdoor patio party, featuring reggae music and Jamaican eats. Seating is limited. 
  • Sunday, July 26: 🎵 The Islands Folk Festival heads online, with live-streamed performances from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday, July 27: 🌎 The Municipality of North Cowichan invites you to an online information session on its climate action and greenhouse gas modelling update
  • Tuesday, July 28: 📣 Join community members at Cowichan Tribes offices for a rally calling for action on the overdose crisis, 10 a.m.
  • Sundays: 🔍 The Heritage Museum in Mill Bay reopens its doors to the public, 12 to 3 p.m. Masks are required, and private appointments can be arranged. 
  • Now through August 3: 🎤 The 39 Days of July festival continues, with live-streamed performances every day.

What did I miss? Let me know what events are coming up near you by sending me an email.


Photo of the week

It was great to meet Youbou resident Kathryn “Swanny” Swan last week at Arbutus Park, who was doing her thing, or as she calls it, “swanning around” when she captured this shot of the local wildlife. (Me and my dog, for the record.) Thanks 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.


In your words

“I love your publication and have been recommending it to everyone!” Laura wrote to us recently. “It’s such a refreshing format and I really appreciate the measured tone, the focus on the positive, and the centering of Indigenous perspectives you take such care to offer. I always look forward to your next newsletter.”

Thank you so much for that feedback! By recommending The Discourse to your friends and family, you help us continue to offer these newsletters and our in-depth reporting on community issues. So a big, big huy ch q’a to you!