Cowichan Valley.

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A view over Cowichan Lake and the community of Youbou from Christopher Rock.

Get your vote on, Cowichan

Governance, development, environment, homelessness: Vote here to determine our next investigation.

As you know, I’ve spent the past few months asking you all to tell me what issues you care about in our community. That’s because I believe journalism should be powered by everyday people, with lived experience in all kinds of great things.

I’ve tallied up your (excellent) responses, and narrowed it down to four story ideas. Now, it’s over to you. Tell me what to dig into first with the form below. Thank you for being a part of it.

You have from now until Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 11:59 p.m. PT to put your community reporter on assignment.
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Meet your neighbours

Sarah Adams, left, and Alice Marsh share a house in Crofton, and previously lived together in Youbou.

 

Sarah Adams and Alice Marsh are roommates living in Crofton. Sarah is a farmer who’s considering becoming an acupuncturist and Alice is a woodworker and former tree planter. Neither grew up here, and both say they were attracted to this place for its healing energy.

“I would describe the Cowichan Valley as a positive healing space; it has a lot of healing opportunities with nature,” Sarah said.

“I’ve never experienced such a feeling of being present, especially when I’m in the woods or by the ocean or by the lake,” echoed Alice. “I just feel incredibly grounded. It’s an experience I’ve never had before anywhere else I’ve lived.

Both say they wish they knew more of the Indigenous history of this land and its people.

“If there could be some setup where a conversation was opened up to connect settlers and non-settlers in a forum where people could ask uncomfortable questions—because I think there is a bit of division here in regards to that,” Alice said. “I think a lot of it is fear because you don’t want to be insulting or sound dumb or silly: how to get past those awkward points into creating a real community.”

Alice has this advice for people who want to know the Cowichan Valley: “Go to Christopher Rock [located up a steep trail behind the community of Youbou, with views overlooking Cowichan Lake] to the top, and then go straight down, and then look back up. Go do that. That’s the feeling that I have all the time.” 

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News of the week

  • B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure cancelled its plan to close the Kingscote Heritage Trail in Cowichan Bay after a public outcry. The ministry had planned to dig up the trail to allow for drainage of a nearby subdivision, but now says it will work with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to explore other solutions, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports.
  • Returning chinook salmon in the Cowichan River are large in number but small in size, CHEK News reports. This is the second consecutive year of surprisingly high returns, suggesting a rebound after a crash that peaked about a decade ago.
  • Municipal councils on Vancouver Island narrowed the gender gap in October’s elections, the Cowichan Valley Citizen reports. Women earned 42 percent of council seats and a quarter of the mayoral races across the Island. In the CVRD’s four municipalities, women earned 10 of 22 council seats and one mayoral seat.

Let’s gather

  • Nov. 1 and 6: The Municipality of North Cowichan will host open houses on its proposed budget for 2019. They will take place from 6-8 p.m., Nov. 1 at the Crofton Community Centre and Nov. 6 at Chemainus Seniors’ Centre. (An event was also held on Oct. 29 in Duncan.)
  • Nov. 3: Collective Space invites you to celebrate old growth forests though in evening of music, art, and stories. The event will feature musician Buckman Coe and many more. It is a fundraiser for the Save Old Growth campaign.
  • Nov. 2 to 4: The Cowichan Valley Film Society will host the Travelling World Community Film Festival, featuring documentaries on environmental and social justice issues. The screenings will be held at Vancouver Island University’s Cowichan campus in Duncan.
  • Nov. 3: The Vancouver Island Regional Library will host a conversation about What Reconciliation Is and What It Is Not with Yvonne Rigsby-Jones, of the Snuneymux’w First Nation, in partnership with Cowichan Tribes, Social Planning Cowichan, and Reconciliation Canada.

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