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Cowichan Conversations: Support Rally For Striking Cowichan News Leader Staffer Was Solid

Richard Hughes- Blogger

The wind and rain challenged the scheduled rally to support striking News Leader workers but it seemed to have little if any effect. Local citizens, trade union leaders and politicians gathered and offered their support for the folks that put out the paper, under increasingly stressful conditions. That, thanks to their tightwad owner David Black media tycoon.

Black is trying to tighten their belts further and impose two tiered salary caps on future employees. He has refused to budge or negotiate unless the bargaining unit, represented by the powerful and progressive union UNIFOR, roll over.

Last I (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan News Leader Workers Are On Strike!

This just in. The picket lines are up at the Cowichan News Leader. Black Press is trying to impose a two-year wages system on new employees.

Here is the CHEK TV NEWS Report 

Cowichan Conversations: BC Liberals LNG Tax Bill equals Unprecedented Wealth Transfer and Will Pass Unopposed

Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor

The LNG Tax Bill currently winding its way through the BC legislature will impact the very fundamentals of this Province and paves the way for a massive transfer of wealth extending decades into the future.

It’s an unprecedented time.

The BC Liberals had to prorogue the house and start anew with a Throne Speech that completely rewrote everything they built their re-election campaign on.

In other words, they were forced to halt proceedings, rewind the clock on their election platform and instead of delivering prosperity, strong arm British Columbians into accepting the dictates of foreign oil (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: This is Going To Be A War-Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan


Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has gone to court challenging Kinder Morgan’s efforts to proceed contrary to Burnaby’s bylaws. If the court upholds the by-laws then Kinder Morgan will have to cease their work and leave the area.

This is going to be a war-says Corrigan.

Cowichan Conversations: Robo-Calls come to Duncan

Appallingly, robo-calls have come to the City of Duncan.

The calls, in a voice that no one recognizes, allegedly say,” Please vote for our friends, Mayor Phil Kent, Martin Barker, Rodger Bruce, George Nielsen, Travis Peterson and John Horgan.”

The problem being that Mayor Phil Kent never gave his permission to be included in either the recent ads in the paper or in the robocalls.

Apparently the Mayor will be contacting Elections BC after the election and will be making a formal statement.

Cowichan Conversations: The Nanaimo-Duncan Labour Council organized a debate for the three candidates vying for the North Cowichan mayor’s chair

Don Maroc – Cowichan Conversations

by Don Maroc

The Nanaimo-Duncan Labour Council organized a debate for the three candidates vying for the North Cowichan mayor’s chair, at the Cowichan Community Centre Sunday afternoon at 2 pm.

Richard Hughes-Moderator

Maybe it was because the Cowichan Valley’s unreformed political pitbull Richard Hughes was the moderator, or maybe it was because North Cowichan’s irrascible councillor John Koury made a quick statement and bailed out of the debate. More likely it was a result of two very honourable and respectful men debating issues facing residents rather than taking cheap shots at one another that (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Island Savings Vital to Island Communities

Please cast a vote against the takeover. Vote No!

John Restakis

With three days left in the voting for the proposed merger of Island Savings and First West, many questions remain unanswered for Island Savings members. It remains unclear just exactly how a larger credit union will actually benefit Vancouver Island communities if they lose control of their credit union in the process.The key to local investment in a credit union is always local control. This is the heart and soul of a truly successful credit union – one that lives its co-op principles. Lose this and all bets (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: First West Credit Union-’Salary Budget Reductions’– Unfair Labour Practices

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The following information was waiting in my inbox this morning. It is of significance to all Island Savings Credit Union members and staff who value job security and the benefits of working with a collective agreement.

Although voting has already begun and will continue until November 12th at all Island Savings locations, this information is still useful, especially for those who have yet to vote..

Island Savings staff are constantly being fed the fairy tales of how First West Credit Union is such a great employer.

The BC Labour Relations Board ruled that First West had engaged in unfair labour practices (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan Local Elections November 15th–Choose Wisely–Heaven sort Hell




Heavenly Election



While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

“Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high officials around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

“No problem, just let me in,” says the Senator. “Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we’ll do (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Seventeen candidates vying for seven seats on the Cowichan School Board of Trustees

Don Maroc

by Don Maroc

Seventeen candidates vying for seven seats on the Cowichan School District Board of Trustees took the Quamichan school stage before about 75 residents on Thursday (Oct.30th) evening.

There were 17 individual pitches made by the candidates for the audience’s votes. But a majority of the candidates have aligned themselves in two slates. Seven candidates (Keith Chicquen, Barb de Groot, Rob Hutchins, Joanne de Lure, Cathy Schmidt, Candance Spilsbury, and Joe Thorne) make up the Students First Team. Opposite them the Group of Four includes Kayla Barrett, Connie Buckner, Deb Foster, and Ellen Oxman.

Deb Foster and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Island Savings Takeover — A Bad Deal-Vote No


Keep Island Savings Local



By Don Skerik

Regarding the take over of Island Savings by First West. I have attended three of the ISCU membership meetings and at each it seemed there were more staff than members attending. At one meeting on two occasions I was in conversation with other members and had my conversation intruded upon by management. I wonder if this is the new culture being introduced by First West.

The information provided at each meeting seemed to consist of threats to the members and staff that if this merger does not go through (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Michelle Staples Seeks Re-election to Duncan City Council

Welcome to!!! This site is designed specifically for the re-election campaign of Michelle Staples, a long term Cowichan Valley resident living in the City of Duncan, a mother and self employed entrepreneur with a long history of bringing people together on projects that are important to the Cowichan Valley. Our hopes for this site is to provide people with information about Michelle, so enjoy the site and finding out why you should mark her on your voting card this coming November 15th!

If you have any questions for her, comments, concerns about the City or would just like to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan News Leader Candidate Coverage for Election 2014

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger



The Cowichan News Leader is doing a good job with their Election 14 Coverage. I have posted their profile feature here. This is worth keeping around as we all try to sort out this amazing series of local elections.

ELECTION CANDIDATES Election News Election Candidates Candidate Q&As Election Information Electoral Region : —- All —- City of Duncan Municipality of North Cowichan Cowichan Valley Regional District Cowichan Valley School District 79

Click here to find your area

Mayor: Meet Phil Kent

City of Duncan: Kent, Phil — Mayor candidate (incumbent)

Meet John Koury

Municipality of (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan News Leader Candidate Coverage for Election 2014

Cowichan Conversations: CKNW-Former BC Premier calls for a frank discussion of Canadian values

Former BC NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh

A former BC Premier says Wednesday’s terror attack in Ottawa is another sign of Canada losing the war on values.

Ujjal Dosanjh says it is time to forget being politically correct and have a frank discussion about our youth being radicalized.

“I think it has start in our schools. It has to start with every political and public leader being conscious of these issues and not pandering for votes and not being politically correct and I think that we need to speak to our children at home and we need to speak to our (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: North Cowichan Candidates Pitch Voters at Maple Bay All Candidates Meeting

Don Maroc-Political Blogger

by Don Maroc

A couple of hundred people jammed the Maple Bay Firehall for the election season’s first all-candidates meeting Wednesday evening, getting their first look at all 23 candidates competing for North Cowichan’s six municipal council seats and the mayor’s chair.

The issue on top of most candidates’ list was taxes, principally municipal property taxes. The voice that rang out the loudest and clearest was big Al Siebring, one of only two sitting North Cowichan councillors standing for re-election.

NC Councillor Al Siebring

The weight of Siebring’s pitch came in two promises to be kept within (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Amy Matamba Is Running For A Position On the Cowichan School District Board

Cowichan Conversations: Janice Macalister – Running for CVRD Director Area E

Janice Macalister

Running for CVRD Director Area E Vote November 15th at the Eagles Hall


I have lived in the Cowichan Valley for 22 years, the last five in Sahtlam (Area E). I work part time at Volume One books in Duncan. My previous political experience was as a Trustee, Vice-chair and Chairperson on the Cowichan Valley School Board from 1999-2005. During this time I sat on many committees including the joint committee with the CVRD that explored, and recommended, the changes to the original Fairgrounds and the relocation of VIU. I have been on a variety of Boards (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Loren Duncan Seeks Re-Election In Glenora-Sahtlam-Cowichan Station




Loren Duncan

Incumbent Candidate – Glenora-Sahtlam-Cowichan Station


About myself: It has been a pleasure and honour to serve the constituents these past 15 years as Director.

I reside in Sahtlam on a riverside property owned since the mid 1980′s with my spouse Maureen.

I pay property tax’s in both Electoral Area “E” & “F”.


Politically I am more Green than anything else…belonging to the party both Provincially and Federally, but I recognize that party politics is not the appropriate flag to fly at the local government Board table.

When I wander in the political wilderness (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: I’m Damir Wallener, and I am Running for Mayor of North Cowichan.

Damir Wallener

A thriving municipality is built on three pillars – accountability, community, and healthy economic development. Accountability ultimately comes from voters, so they must be given tools to make the job easy. Open door access to the Mayor and to Councillors as well as citizen oversight of budgeting, procurement and contracting are part of that. So are consistent and transparent enforcement of bylaws. Ensuring there is opportunity and safety for all residents, especially our kids and elders, is the basis of community. And healthy economic development recognizes the importance of looking at the jobs of the future, as well (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Jon Lefebure Faces John Khoury and Damir Wallener For the Top Prize in North Cowichan

Jon Lefebure

The North Cowichan political scene has certainly been sparked up as candidates vie for positions at the council table and the mayor’s chair.

Incumbent Mayor Jon Lefebure is seeking re-election but first he will have to garner more votes that the two hard charging challengers Damir Wallener and veteran councillor John Khoury.

John Khoury

Wallener ran for the BC Conservative Party in the 2013 Provincial Election and now is eyeing North Cowichan’s top prize.

Damir Wallener now seems to be offering a green-red tory approach and has made a deliberate shift away from the hard right posture held (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: First West Credit Union Takeover of Island Savings Must Be Stopped. Vote No!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The rapidly growing and expanding First West Credit Union has been gobbling up smaller Credit Unions over the last few years. Now they are poised to take over our Island Savings Credit Union and the members are only hearing the positive side of the story.

Bigger is not always better!

Slick and glossy promotional brochures and videos do not tell the real story. We are paying for the demise of our locally owned and controlled Island Savings unless this takeover can be stopped.

Informed members voting to deny permission for this hijacking is essential, or we will (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Politics, Hockey, Fall Sitting at the BC Legislature and Local Elections-Game on!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We are moving into autumn, our glorious climate change driven summer is wrapping up even though our confused tomato plants refuse to stop providing even more ripe tomatoes.

Last night our beloved Vancouver Canucks warmed our hockey deprived souls with a win in the season opener against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan is determined even as he is smiling.

Our BC Legislature has been a scene of activity featuring accusations and highly partisan posturing in a rare fall legislative session is in gear. NDP’s new leader John Horgan finally has the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: North Cowichan Councillor Kate Marsh Is Running Again!


My Vision An aware, involved and resilient community, sharing ideas openly and working collaboratively to make our future strong.

Taxes I’d like to briefly address the inaccurate statement that North Cowichan has the highest taxes on Vancouver Island.

In truth North Cowichan has the 8th lowest taxes out of 23 municipalities on Vancouver Island. (Civic Info)

My Commitment

Continue to initiate better, earlier and more thorough communication and collaboration with residents, community groups, First Nations, the CVRD, City of Duncan, Ladysmith and senior levels of government.

Continue to work to create real economic health and a more local, resilient and (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Let’s Keep Island Savings Credit Union Under Local Control

Here is a timely post from Don Skerick about the (insider Board of Directors) proposed amalgamation of Island Savings with First West Credit Union head quartered on Langley, BC.


Let’s Keep Island Savings Local

I urge all Island Savings Credit Union members to carefully consider their proposed merger vote with First West Credit Union, and join me in voting NO so we can keep Island Savings local. The purpose of Credit Unions is to keep and put community money in the local community.

My main concern is losing local control of our Credit Union. We will no longer have a (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Why Not a Community Investment Fund for the Cowichan Valley?

Rob Douglas

Since 2001 the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) has operated an in-house economic development body to help the regional economy prosper and grow.

With an annual budget exceeding $800,000, Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) now employs several staff and oversees a range of activities to expand the agricultural sector, market tourism and attract the film industry.

While some would argue EDC is succeeding on a number of fronts–including building a strong regional brand, producing a number of impressive economic development studies, and hosting events such as the Cowichan agricultural fair—others have long questioned its value.

Critics point to EDC’s (Read more…)