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Cowichan Conversations: When is a Community Plan NOT a Community Plan?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Paul Kamill is a relative newcomer to the Cowichan Valley. He bought a small acreage bordering on the proposed Balme family gravel pit on the Cowichan Bay-Cobble dividing line. Little did he know that the ‘Black is White’ crowd controlled the local government.

He was recently treated to the CVRD’s mishandling of yet another colossal cock-up.

Experienced politicians and career Administrator Frank Raimondo-aka “Raimondo the Rude’ refused to abide by their OCP and bylaws. Mr Kamill was treated to our Cowichan version of the British skit- Monty Python.

‘Raimondo-the Rude’ We were 100 percent wrong’!

He immersed (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Planned breach of Cowichan Bay causeway planned for late July

A group of dedicated volunteers, organized under the Cowichan Estuary Restoration and Conservation Association aka (CIRCA) have taken on the task of improving life for marine and wildlife that have struggled against industrial disruption for many decades.

Peter Rusland interviewed Goetz Schuerholz in this article carried in the Cowichan News Leader.

The causeway leading from the Cowichan Estuary to the Westcan Terminals in Cowichan Bay may be opened in order to improve the ecological health of Cowichan Bay.— Image Credit: John McKinley/File

by Peter Rusland – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Breaching a causeway in Cowichan Bay to give spawning (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The green revolution away from fossil fuels is gaining momentum. We need time to make the crossover but it surely is coming as night follows day.

Alternate building materials and alternate approaches are on the rise.

Let us try to reduce our use of gas and oil products as much as we can and push for viable alternatives as soon as possible.

The change is coming!

The Mind Unleashed

Legalize research and cultivation of industrial hemp

(Hemp does not produce the “high”) So, why is it illegal? Because fuel companies would lose TRILLIONS in profit, while the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: The products that have been banned are better!

Cowichan Conversations: This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Those of us fortunate enough to have had some rough patches in our lives will empathize immediately with this amazing article about the struggle back from poverty of a young couple that did everything right, and then the bottom fell out.

The line is a thin one and this piece is an example of the rollercoaster ride that an untold number of comfortably well off socially and financially successful people have experienced. This is true here in Canada, but more so in the states.

Sara Bareilles played softly through the surround-sound speakers of my husband’s 2003 Mercedes (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Colonist Editorial Nails It-Provide Homes for the Homeless

It is encouraging to read commonsense and compassionate words from the mainstream media. The Victoria Times Colonist Editorial Department is one of the most progressive and responsible in the country. Well done.

In 2008, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the bylaw deprived the homeless of life, liberty and security in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Photograph By ADRIAN LAM

People who live near Kings Park in Fernwood are unhappy that the park is being used as a campground by homeless people. They have every right to be upset — camping where camping was not intended can (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Another Court Loss For the Miserable Mean Spirited Harper Government

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Another beautiful day in the neighbourhood, brightened by this Federal Court decision that slaps down the ‘cruel and unusual’ treatment of refugees at the hands of our out of sync PM Steve Harper.

Judged harshly and sharply the Harper crew are going to appeal this decision.

When the governments refuse to accept court decisions they are called __________!

PM Harper, mean spirited, out of sync with Canadians

Step by disgusting step Harper is indeed dismantling Canada. He constantly embarrasses and humiliates us on the world stage and is ruining our reputation as a friendly, progressive, fair minded (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Arundhati Roy-The Corporate Revolution Will Collapse

Cowichan Conversations: Prime Minister Harper’s Traitorous Attack On the CBC

Richard Hughes-CBC Is Under Attack!


PM Steve Harper’s hatred for anything of benefit in the public domain has manifested itself through an intended assault on the CBC and its’ programming is unprecedented in our history.

Here from Press Progress is a sobering history of the CBC and an ananlysis of what is at risk.

Get used to a lot less CBC.

That’s a key takeaway from the public broadcaster’s new five-year plan that will see between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs eliminated by 2020 (on top of 657 staff already cut earlier this year).

No wonder CBC is slashing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Lawyer Attempts To Ridicule Teacher By Asking How Much He Makes

Richard Hughes-Teacher’s Pet


This struck a chord considering the hard assed, mean spirited, anti teacher, anti public education bent of our BC Premier Christy Clark and her obedient Education Minister Peter Fassbender.


Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Compromise is a two-way street. BCTF has moved a mile, the government not one inch

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark embraces the anti education, anti academic, anti-intellectual posture of a true Philistine.

Let’s not beat around the bush. This attack is a part of a larger plan to continue dismantling our civil society and commonwealth.

It is all about wealth transfer to the corporate side of the ledger. It is dangerous and it is wrong!

Here is an opinion piece from BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair that was published in the Vancouver Sun.


. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Compromise is a two-way street. BCTF has moved a mile, the government not one inch

Cowichan Conversations: Tsilhqot’in Nation Gives Canada a New Chance to Do It Right

Step by step the Canada’s Supreme Court is humanizing Canada in spite of our mean spirited Prime Minister and our chequered past treatment of First Nations peoples, culture and values.

This Mitchell Anderson Opinion piece ran in the Tyee recently and is well worth your attention.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs: the terms of the deal are no longer the same. Photo credit Times Colonist

Culture and natural resources may seem to have little in common, but their intersection is about to become very important in Canada.

The sweeping decision by the Supreme (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The CVRD Is The BC Government Authorized Body To Deal With Solid Waste. The Cowichan Tribes Must Be Included As Full Partners and Participants

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

As a CVRD Director (1993-2002 ) I recall vividly when we had to shut down the incinerators and existing landfill.

We were tasked with finding and establishing a new landfill under BC Government guidelines. The guidelines dictated by MOE made it pretty much impossible to find an area for a landfill that was viable.

After an exhaustive search and process none of the areas investigated were found to be acceptable to the communities nearby.

The last site known as ‘D-1′ up off Highway 18 and was essentially stopped by the Cowichan Tribes intervention as it was within (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD and Cowichan Tribes Politicians Discuss Plans For an Incinerator to be Built in Glenora-Residents Kept in the Dark!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The CVRD and the Cowichan Tribes and the Khowutzun Development Corporation (KDC) have been dealing with this matter in secret sessions rather than being out front and accountable.

Garbage incineration is contrary to any level of environmental common sense. It just creates a garbage dump in the sky over our challenged air shed.

All local government jurisdictions are involved in this especially the Cowichan Tribes, City of Duncan and North Cowichan whose residents would be the most affected.

Who is looking out for the health impacts? This especially hard on seniors and those with asthma and other (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan River Could Dry Up As We Face Drought Conditions

Cowichan Weir-Photo by Brian Hoole

The Cowichan River is being challenged by a very dry spring, no remaining relief from melting snowpacks and the outlook for the balance of the summer and fall is for very dry drought conditions.

The Catalyst Pulp Mill uses vast amounts of water from the Cowichan and with climate change ‘Mother Nature’ is registering her displeasure.

Many of our past practices may no longer be possible during the dry times if the crucial Cowichan salmon are to survive.

We are witnessing the reality of these challenges. The Pulp Mill has supported generations of Cowichan residents (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Mulcair Denies Paul Manly the Right To Seek Nomination In Nanaimo Ladysmith

Dear Friends and Supporters

I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.

The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate.

I have done nothing illegal or immoral, nothing (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Being Sued by David Leitch for Wrongful Dismissal – Update with Correction

Former CVRD Water Manager David Leitch was fired back when CAO Warren Jones was still in charge and then reinstated when it appeared that they did not have grounds for dismissal that would stand up.

When Frank Raimondo took over after the Board he fired Jones for a second time in mid April.

He was unceremoniously escorted out of the building as was done to Bob McDonald. And as with the other dismissals terms of dismissal were not disclosed. It is not known if a settlement was paid to Leitch or McDonald but Warren Jones skipped out of the CVRD offices with 335, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Gino-Gino-Gino!

Cowichan Conversations: This Cowichan News Leader Story Is Right On The Money!

This story is a keeper! What a contrast to recent to the confused Cowichan Citizen offerings about the Balme’s efforts to process gravel through a ‘Temporary Use Permit.’

It is a good day when at least one of our local newspapers has seen through the bafflegab that surrounded this latest CVRD cock-up.

Well done Cowichan News Leader


CVRD lawyers have no problem with Balme Ayr rejection

John McKinley

by John McKinley – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Upon further review, the Cowichan Valley Regional District has rejected the Balme Ayr Farm gravel processing proposal.

And it should have happened (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: How to Attack BC Schools in 10 Easy Steps-Leaked Cabinet Video

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Acting CAO Raimondo’s Oral Report About Legal Opinion On Balme Gravel Application

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Exclusive audio report that the CVRD did not want you to hear. 

Cowichan media coverage of local government affairs is scanty, when covered at all.

Both the Cowichan News Leader and the Cowichan Citizen corporate owners have stripped proper staff complements, especially in the newsrooms.

Shaw Cable had for years covered and broadcast the Board and Council meetings throughout the valley. They have quit covering CVRD Meetings but the Regional Government set up their own video system that can be watched online.

While their video streaming is is not as user-friendly as watching it on channel (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: First Nations ‘ecstatic’ over historic Supreme Court ruling

Richard Hughes- Blogger

The days of PM Steve Harper running roughshod over First Nations peoples, their land and culture may well have come to an abrupt end!

Of course the mistreatment and short-changing preceded Steve but he has done more than his share and now, finally it appears that some justice is in the cards.

PM Steve Harper- Just say goodbye Steve

This land is indeed their land and the days of ploughing through their lands, their rivers and creeks without regard to their rights or the impacts against the environment.

The First Nations people had already been at the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan Bay Residents Win Battle Over Gravel Processing-Director Gerry Giles 100 Percent Wrong!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Acting CAO Frank Raimondo told the Board of Directors yesterday afternoon that he had received a requested legal opinion that made it clear that they (Directors Giles, Walker, Chair Rob Hutchins and Frank Raimondo) were 100 percent wrong.

They had argued that Oliver and Shelley Balme should have been allowed further process to examine a Temporary use Permit-TUP that could have ended up allowing gravel processing on the Balmes farm in Cobble Hill, bordering Cowichan Bay.

That was quite a mouthful after Cobble Hill Director Gerry Giles and Cowichan Bay’s representative Lori Iannidinardo banged heads at the last Electoral (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Free Leonard Peltier

Richard – Greetings my Relatives, Friends and Supporters 

As I have said so many times in the past I am deeply and truly honored that you remember me on this day and I am honored to have my words read to you today. I think this commemoration day should be about the lives of all our people who in some way lived and died for us.

By the time of the Ogala shoot-out there had already been some 60 something of our Native people killed. These people are the ones we are commemorating here today. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Medical Marijuana Debate

Cowichan Conversations: Enbridge-It does not matter what Steve says