Stand up to the CVRD and tell them to STOP wasting our tax dollars!

Stand up to the CVRD and tell them to STOP wasting our tax dollars!

I write your newspaper to provide information and facts to the residents and taxpayers of the Cowichan Valley Regional District that relates to the latest decision made by the CVRD Directors.

The proposal by the CVRD is to take over complete responsibility for the Lake Cowichan weir.

For those you that don’t know; the existing weir was established “under license” from the province of BC to the British Columbia Forest Products to provide a continuous water supply to the pulp and paper mill located in Crofton. The rules established by the PROVINCE of BC ARE that the weir and all associated costs are to be the responsibility of the HOLDER of the License and water flow into the Cowichan River would be controlled through established rules set by the PROVINCAL government.

Now understand this; the existing weir is maintained and operates at NO COST to the taxpayer. At present, the licensee is Catalyst and they must maintain the weir, all its functions and abide by the rules established by the PROVINCAL government.

We now have the CVRD taking a “survey” of some of the CVRD populace that asks the question; “Are you concerned about your drinking water?” Of course; there is a high positive response to this question that now gives the CVRD the impetus to attempt to “take control” of the existing weir.

Of course, the CVRD is not only interested in taking control of the weir but also to replace it and increase its height. Imagine doing this all AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYER. For example; in the last CVRD budget proposal the costs to established an outdoor bathroom in Arbutus Park in Youbou WAS PROJECTED to cost $107,000. That gives you an example of how the CVRD spends our taxpayer dollars. 

To date, the CVRD has spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars  “building their case” to take over this responsibility which seems to the ordinary person to be simply unbelievable.

There was a time when residents close to the lake used “lake water” for their household needs. That all stopped when the CVRD mandated that all households would have to be serviced from a common CVRD controlled and treated water supply. Remember Warkentin, Ontario?

So how does “the survey taken by the CVRD” related to this action by the CVRD?

It DOESN’T. It does, however, provide a significantly high number (92%) that the CVRD can use in any manner to show people support the idea of this CVRD action.

The CVRD intends to use the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to determine IF this proposal is to proceed. Anybody who understands this (AAP) procedure also knows that this system is ONLY used by the CVRD when they know that the proposal would not pass a common referendum.  

I offer you one response from one of the Area Directors:

The CVRD and in turn you, the local taxpayer, have no involvement at this stage. And that is the way it should remain.

I consider it was wrong and cavalier for the CVRD some years ago to have announced: “We will take the lead”.  If there is concern about an insufficient supply of water for the Crofton Mill, the fish or the replenishment of the aquifers, then the B.C. Government and Catalyst should solve that problem, it is theirs.

So, dear local resident, be vigilant. Don’t be fooled into taking on responsibilities and costs that might turn out to be a real burden for you, your children and their children in the coming years. 

You know how it is, once a service function at the CVRD is established, there is no going back.

There are so many other reasons why we the TAXPAYER(S) should be demanding that the CVRD stop this ridiculous idea but the most important reason is YOU THE TAXPAYER.

It is time for all of us to stand up to the CVRD and tell them to STOP wasting our tax dollars!

Write your letters to both the CVRD and PROVINCAL government demanding that they NOT grant the CVRD this responsibility, attend EVERY town hall meeting where the CVRD will be “floating this proposal” and most important of all watch for the CVRD to implement the AAP vote with as little publicity as possible.

And these are our elected officials. How disgusting!

Greg Whynacht
Youbou, BC

12 Responses to "Stand up to the CVRD and tell them to STOP wasting our tax dollars!"

  1. Anonymous   March 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    This is all misinformation. Do your own Research and don’t necessarily believe what local politicians are saying. Remember elections are coming.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous   March 16, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    There is a lot of misinformation being promulgated about this issue. Do your own research and then decide what’s right. Listen to the experts.
    Not the politicians.

    Reply
  3. Cath   March 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    CVRD should NOT be in the business of operating the weir at Cowichan Lake. As Greg notes, Catalyst holds the licence and must operate it according to the parameters outlined in their licence and set by the provincial government. The operation and maintenance of the weir is expensive and on going. Catalyst is a publicly traded company and the costs are part of the cost of doing business. They should not be subsidized by the taxpayer.
    It has been said that CVRD is 64th largest Regional District and has 6th highest taxes! I do not see evidence that much of my area’s tax dollars are coming back to our district.
    Remember, once CVRD takes on an operation, it is forever. If CVRD took ownership of the weir I expect there would be a new full department to manage it: manager, support staff, weir operators, maintenance and all the supplies each needs. And probably another HR person to handle the extra employees.
    I find the process by which CVRD is attempting to take over ownership distasteful. According to CVRD meeting minutes in 2016, public meetings were planned. Why were public meetings scrapped? Instead, we have a cumbersome, non-user friendly website that many cannot use, and displays set up at a few venues for a few hours with CVRD staff in attendance.
    In my opinion there should be no further action re CVRD taking ownership of the weir until there has been well publicized public meetings at which there is full and honest disclosure of the facts, and open dialogue with residents. At those meetings CVRD must LISTEN to and HEAR what residents have to say.
    To confirm, I am opposed to CVRD increasing our taxes to take over ownership of the weir.

    Reply
  4. Cathy Wagner   February 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This is utter nonsense. “OUR,” Lake is there to serve “everyone.” That being said, the current license is fine, CVRD can use our hard earned money to support “proper,” recycling programs for the Valley that recycle everything, including glass, as well as upgrading the EPP (Emergency Prepardedness Program) with free courses on how to be “prepared.”

    I think a lot of the Valley do not realize our Lake feeds the Cowichan Lake area, as well as Duncan, Crofton etc. When the District of Powell River took over one of our most beautiful lakes and “family,” camping sites (Haslam Lake) within a couple of years it was deemed as a water shed and no one was legally allowed to use Haslam Lake as a place for families. We lost the right to swim there, to sail there, no fishing, no boating.

    We also have a huge Catalyst Mill in Powell River who draw their water from Powell Lake and they have maintained the damn since (1912) with no problems, we can still swim, fish, boat,water ski etc.

    Come on CVRD, seriously? Its not your money you are blowing, it is ours, yes either way, if they made the weir higher there would be more water for all of us, not just the residents of the Lake and Valley, but if Catalyst and the Province share the responsibility then the cost of raising the weir and maintaining it would involved those two parties. We would still be paying for “part,” of weir improvement but the cost would be on the Province and Catalyst, my taxes don’t go up as much and the largest user of the weir water (Catalyst) will do their part to ensure things are maintain, after all if it isn’t there goes their mill.

    Just my two cents worth.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous   February 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Of course we have a responsibility to the fish habitat and the general well being of the environment which includes our drinking water . BUT ……FACTS..Catalyst has just received a tax break on energy, they are always looking to save and shift costs to the tax payers, but the agreement clearly states that they are responsible for the weir .
    CVRD quit trying to spend tax dollars with out public consultation

    Reply
  6. Duncan Hume   February 26, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    No need to raise the weir. 2016 was the first time since 1998 that the water level got so low and using the pumps for one day solved the problem. There is plenty of water stored in the lake, if it gets too low then USE THE PUMPS! No need to raise the weir!

    Reply
  7. Val   February 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Total BS, CVRD shouldn`t even be involved. We have to cover all the halls they took over and parks–why the water that we need to sustain a normal living–

    Reply
  8. PW McCallum   February 26, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    The CVRD is dog licensing out of control! This is empire building. These services have worked well for 50 years and don’t require a big office and 50 over paid admins. The CVRD SHOULD BE OBOLISHED. Why do you need a bunch more useless administrators, grow up people stand up for the few rights you haven’t handed away.

    Reply
  9. Allan Gott   February 25, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Dear Anonymous,

    Your assumption is laughable. Do you live on the lake, or anywhere in the upper valley? Of courses not. If you did, you would know that many lakefront and riverfront owners “lose” their beaches every time the lake rises as part of it’s natural cycle. It’s a fact of life, everyone accepts that and manages their affairs accordingly WITHOUT entanglement with the CVRD.

    Perhaps you could comment on the actual, and published, facts contained in Mr. Wynachts’ commentary. Specifically, as he, and our Area 1 Director Klaus Kuhn, have clearly stated, the simple fact that ownership of the Catalyst weir, and everything that goes with it, means ownership. CVRD “ownership” comes with a huge financial cost that will be carried for a long, long time by every taxpaying citizen of the CVRD, and, North Cowichan if a merge ever goes through.

    This “initiative” should be subjected to full, and well-publicized, public hearings and referendum. Period.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous   February 25, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Must be written by someone that doesn’t want the Weir raised because they have waterfront property and will lose some of their beach. The snow pack isn’t what it used to be and it threatens the fish spawning now being so low.

    Reply
  11. Chris Leischner   February 25, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I agree 100%

    Reply
  12. Jack Peake   February 25, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Right on! Sadly this is only one example of the foolishness going on at the CVRD. Empire building, wasting tax $ and no accountability. Jack

    Reply

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