Cowichan This Week – Safer supply pilot coming to Cowichan

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

This week, the Government of Canada announced a $2 million investment in a safer supply pilot program in the Cowichan Valley. The program will offer opioid medication and other support to people who are at risk of overdose and resistant to other treatment alternatives. The push for safer alternatives to toxic street drugs has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the supply of street drugs, leading to increasingly toxic drugs and more deaths

There’s evidence that safer supply reduces the harms of substance use. And here in Cowichan, access to pharmaceutical alternatives expanded somewhat during this pandemic. How’s that going? Stay tuned for more from reporter David Minkow.

More news and announcements

  • The Municipality of North Cowichan now has elector consent to borrow $48 million for a new RCMP detachment, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. About 4.6 per cent of eligible voters registered opposition in the controversial alternative approval process, less than half of the 10 per cent needed to reject the proposal.
  • Independent investigators into anti-Indigenous racism in the healthcare system are asking all Indigenous people in B.C. to fill out a survey, email or call to share their experiences seeking healthcare in this province.
  • The advocacy group Where Do We Stand has asked for a pause on public consultations about the future of North Cowichan’s municipal forests, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports
  • All 17 fire departments in the Cowichan region now have, for the first time, an agreement in place to help each other out across jurisdictions, CHEK News reports. The agreement ensures that all communities have backup coverage.
  • The Cowichan Valley Regional District has released a plan to expand access to child care over the coming decade. 
  • The City of Duncan has opened up new downtown parking spots for monthly pass holders. 
  • Lake Cowichan is seeing a surge of visitors this summer as people seek to escape crowds, CHEK News reports
  • The HUB at Cowichan Station is again opening its doors to the public. 
  • The Cowichan Valley has been officially recognized as a distinct wine-producing region, News 1130 reports
  • Island Health has issued an overdose advisory for the Cowichan Valley.

Your Cowichan Valley newsletter

When you subscribe to this newsletter you’ll get Cowichan This Week, your quick update on recent local news that matters and upcoming events you’ll want to know about. Straight to your inbox every Thursday.

Community events

  • Thursday, July 16: 🎨 Kin Park Youth Urban Farm invites self-identified girls from the age of 13-18 to a workshop on making art and making change, 3:30 to 5 p.m. 
  • Thursday, July 16: 💰 The Victoria Foundation is hosting a virtual conversation geared towards youth 15-25 on navigating the financial realities of a COVID-19 world. 
  • Thursday, July 16: 🌱 Join MLA Sonia Furstenau and author Guy Dauncey for a virtual conversation on how British Columbia can build a more just, sustainable and resilient future. 
  • Saturday, July 18: 🛍️ The Cowichan Valley Craft Crawl goes ahead this Saturday, with more than 80 vendors at locations across the region. 
  • Saturday, July 18: 🍷 The Old Firehouse Wine Bar is hosting a physically distanced patio party in Downtown Duncan, with live-streamed music from the 39 Days of July festival. Seating is very limited!
  • Saturday, July 18: 🎸 The Mark Crissinger Band will perform at Waterwheel Park in Chemainus, with shows at 2 and 3:30 p.m. Each performance is limited to 50 people. 
  • 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. 
  • Sunday, July 19: 🎵 Heartwood, the musical project of Genevieve Charbonneau and Jack Connolly, will perform live in Cobble Hill, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 21: 📣 Join MP Alistair MacGregor, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould and Cowichan community leaders for a virtual town hall: Coming Together: An Open Discussion on Racism.

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


  • Family and friends continue to search for Ethan Sampson, last seen in the Cowichan River on January 30. Supporters have set up an online fundraiser to support search efforts. 
  • Friends are fundraising to support a Lake Cowichan family after the sudden death of father Rob Shanahan. 
  • Supporters are raising funds to help Sammy Dubois, a local teen hospitalized with a rare nerve condition. 
  • The Shawnigan Basin Society will collect your returnables at the Country Grocer in Cobble Hill this Saturday and Sunday to support ecological preservation in the Shawnigan Lake watershed.

Photo of the week

Wow! Thanks to Carla Solange for sharing this epic shot of a quiet moment on the Cowichan River. 

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

Earlier this week, Jared Qwustenuxun Williams shared the ancient story of Swuq’us, also known as Mount Prevost. Here’s some feedback we heard from you:

“What a gift. Thank you!” wrote Michelle.

“Wonderful to hear the history behind this beautiful mountain!” said Tom.

“Thank you, every word chips away at my ignorance,” added Catherine. 

Thanks for reading, sharing and sending us your feedback. We love to hear from you. [end]

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top