Cowichan Conversations: An Anatomy of a Water Win

Dara Quast On March 21, 2016, a Supreme Court ruling confirmed the Cowichan Valley’s Regional District’s authority regarding permitted land use. Contaminated soil will cease to be dumped into the community watershed that provides Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Polak–Shawnigan Dirty Dirt Permit Can’t Be Pulled Without Evidence Of Ecological Harm

Here is another Peter Rusland article originally published in the South Cowichan Echo. Apparently the Environment Minister rejects the long standing guidline contained in the ‘Precautionary Principle’ approach   Peter Rusland A legal, toxic Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Stephen Hume: Drinking-Water Warning Brushed Aside By Province

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger The three and a half year controversy surrounding South Island Aggregates (SIA) being permitted, by the BC Liberal government, to deposit contaminated soils and other toxic substances in the sensitive Shawnigan Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Injunction Sought: SIA Attempt to Muzzle Shawnigan Folk Hero ‘Shemama’ Shelagh Bell Irving

    SIA and ‘Shemama’ Shelagh Bell-Irving-A Study In Contrasts   The South Island Aggregates (SIA) outfit is a classic example of greed driven capitalists without conscience. They have little if any concern for their Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation Plans Proceed While The Chief Michael Harry And Council Have Resigned!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger We may be in the throes of a Federal Election and trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer but the Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation proposal to establish a floating LNG Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG to Announce an LNG project.

Cowichan Conversations broke the story of an impending LNG Project announcement August 9th. Today the announcement has been scheduled for Thursday, August 20th 2015 at 10AM. On Thursday, August 20th, 10 am, the Malahat Nation Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD CAO Brian Carruthers Reveals The Details Of Court Action To Stop SIA Cold.

Richard Hughes The CVRD has spent over 3 years and well in excess of 600,000 dollars of our money flip flopping about over the South Island Aggregates (SIA) plan to import 5 million tonnes Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: The CVRD Has Amended Their Petition Over Bylaws To Halt SIA’s Contaminated Site Facility

Here is the CVRD’s late Friday release. In communications circles late Fridays are the time to deliver unpleasant news, firings, and the like. I spoke with CAO Brian Carruthers and he confirmed that the change Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: Screw the Law! — BC Liberal Government Rides Roughshod Over Cowichan Communities

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger The BC Liberal government’s Mines ministry has fully embraced a new political tactic. Screw the law, it is all about rewarding businesses to plunder at will. South Cowichan residents face two significant challenges that has the BC Liberal government riding roughshod over local government land use jurisdiction authority. The first is the ...

Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan Lake Residents — Idle No More

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger Shawnigan is located at the south end of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and for a number of reasons seemed somewhat detached from the local government headquarters in Duncan. A great many of the residents are Victoria commuters, others were mainly summer time residents and so the blend even with the full ...

Cowichan Conversations: Toxic Algae Bloom Leaves 500,000 Without Drinking Water in Ohio

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger Water shortages are a serious concern in the Cowichan Valley with record low levels in the Cowichan River threatening salmon survival. Water use regulations restricting use have been kicked into place throughout the valley as we pray for rain. Yes, it is a challenge and one that promises to become the norm ...

Cowichan Conversations: South Island Aggregates Shuts Down Pit. Is This The End Or Just A Ploy?

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger SIA has apparently shut down their operations and may be out of business. At first look this is encouraging news to residents justifiably worried about SIA’s government approved plans to bring in 5 million tonnes of contaminated soil to their Stebbings Road operation into the Shawnigan Watershed. If indeed SIA is now ...

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Heads Off To Environmental Appeal Board In Hopes of Stopping Contaminated Soil Being Dumped In The Shawnigan Watershed

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger It has been a year and a half since Shawnigan residents learned of an application to dump 5 million tonnes of contaminated soil in their watershed. Until recently the CVRD Directors followed Shawnigan Director Fraser’s lead. They studied, stalled and collaborated with the BC Environment Ministry and then Minister Terry Lake in one of the most bizarre chapters ...

Cowichan Conversations: Have the CVRD Politicans Finally Woken Up?

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Political Blogger I suspect that many of you are getting as tired of hearing about yet another CVRD screw up and outright failure to responsibly represent the taxpaying residents in the Cowichan Valley as I am blogging about it. Should we just ignore their incompetence and failure to even understand their own land use ...

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Director Bruce Fraser and his Colleagues Have a Great Deal To Answer For!

The CVRD has finally discovered that the land use bylaw that they insisted was of no use in blocking the proposed South Island Aggregate’s proposed contaminated site does in fact give them that authority to  act, or at least did before the Ministry of Environment staff issued the permit to SIA. Here is the CVRD  Friday ...

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan Citizen Poll on Contaminated Site Approval Falls Short!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger Dear Editor, I was taken aback seeing the simplistic and cavalier manner in which your structured your latest poll. The issue is far more complex than the cost or advisability of a potential lawsuit. Shawnigan residents face the threat of 5 million tonnes of toxic and contaminated soils being dumped by South Island ...

Cowichan Conversations: BC Liberals Give Green Light To Dump Contaminants in Shawnigan Watershed.

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger The BC Liberal Government announced today that the South Island Aggregates (SIA) have been granted a permit to dump 5 million tonnes of contaminated and  toxic soils in the Shawnigan Watershed. The CVRD politicians refused to ‘get political’ with their Liberal friends when faced with threats to the Shawnigan Watershed, Creek, Lake and ...

Cowichan Conversations: Hey CVRD! Draw Up a Bylaw to Protect the Shawnigan Watershed!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger OK so the Provincial Election returned the BC Liberals. They changed Environment Ministers slotting Mary Polak in as our new Environment chief. Those concerned with the Shawnigan Watershed becoming home for 5 million tonnes of Victoria’s contaminated and toxic soils are probably wondering what the CVRD is doing. Aren’t we always! Those ...

Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan Director Bruce Fraser Reports: SIA Permit For Contaminated Soils Will Be Approved!

Breaking News on SIA Permit Shawnigan CVRD Director Bruce Fraser At a meeting this morning (June 19th) between the MOE, Ministry of Mines and the CVRD it was confirmed that a final permit will be recommended for issue for the SIA Contaminated Soil Facility “within the next few weeks”. MOE staff members are convinced that ...

Cowichan Conversations: Guerilla Radio Covered Shawnigan Contaminated Sites Protest!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger Saturday turned out to be a spectacular warm spring day. It was perfect weather for about 250 residents and politicians gathered in Shawnigan Village to rally and speak out against the BC Government decision to issue a Draft Permit to South Island Aggregates, SIA. The Christy Clark BC Liberals gave SIA a nice ...

Cowichan Conversations: Robert Baden Powell Has Advice For Shawnigan Residents

  Dave Hutchinson of the ‘Shawnigan Focus’ sent this gem along Yesterday, a friend mentioned Robert Baden-Powell, the man who founded the Scouting Movement in the early 1900s. We were discussing community diversity and wondering what motivates people to act during times of crisis. She reminded me of the core values of that organization, which are ...

Cowichan Conversations: BC Liberals Put The Shawnigan Lake Watershed Under Threat!

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger   The threat to the Shawnigan Watershed, Creek, Lake and Drinking Water has been before the South Cowichan Community for over a year. Local government efforts collaborating with Environment Minister Terry Lake have proven to be a cruel and ineffective diversion that saw the CVRD sleepwalking into this crisis instead ...

Cowichan Conversations: Bill Routley Challenges BC Liberals Over Contaminated Soil Controversy

Here is a letter from MLA Bill Routley challenging Environment Minister Lake to step in and do the right thing for the residents of Shawnigan.   Cowichan BC NDP MLA Bill Routley Parliament Buildings Victoria, BC V8V IX4 Telephone 250.387.3655 Fax 250.3873468 bill.routley@leg.bc.ca     Hon. Terry Lake Minister of Environment Room 112 – Parliament ...

Cowichan Conversations: Bill Routley Challenges Environment Minister To Protect Shawnigan Watershed

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger   The CVRD Regional District and Shawnigan Director Bruce Fraser have been blissfully sleepwalking through an application from South Island Aggregates (SIA) to dump up to 5 Million tons of contaminated and toxic soils onto their Stebbings Road property in the Shawnigan Watershed. The application has been before the Ministry ...

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Bylaws Will Not Protect the Shawnigan Watershed! So Bring In A New One!

The CVRD has the authority over land use. Will they draw up a bylaw that protects the Shawnigan Watershed, or not?   The Assistand Deputy Minister of Environment Jim Standiford has written what appears to be a form letter to those who inquire South Island Aggregates (SIA) application to dump 5 million tons of contaminated ...