Susan Beaubier and Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary members at the Wednesday North Cowichan council meeting at the Ramada Inn in Duncan. (Photo by Morna McNair)

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary outlines its mandate at North Cowichan council meeting

President Beaubier states her case for group’s tireless efforts

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary president Susan Beaubier made a presentation Wednesday as part of a North Cowichan council meeting and public hearings at the Ramada Duncan Hotel and Conference Centre that lasted six and a half hours.

Beaubier’s presentation featured the auxiliary’s history and the extensive contributions made to the community. She indicated the group’s 150 members collectively donate an average of 30,000 volunteer hours per year, primarily through operation of the thrift store in Chemainus where all profits are donated back to the worthwhile health-care related causes.

Major donations include: cutting edge X-Ray equipment for the Chemainus Health Care Centre, $500,000 to the new Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, $300,000 to the Cowichan Valley Hospice House, $9,000 annually to Chemainus Secondary students, $10,000 annually to Cops for Cancer and many more.

The auxiliary even provides a tea service to Chemainus residents.

Beaubier gave an extensive overview that was well-received by the crowd of more than 300 people in attendance.

In other matters, council discussed the process for hiring a consultant to lead community engagement to support development of an interim and long-term management plan for the Municipal Forest Reserve. With a few amendments, council endorsed the draft request for proposals that was prepared by staff and UBC’s Dr. Stephen Sheppard.

It is hoped a consultant will be selected and in place by late October and that engagement could commence later in the fall 2019 or into winter 2020.

As part of a follow-up to multiple previous discussions and presentations, council reviewed a proposal from UBC professors detailing the timelines and budget for the team of professors to support North Cowichan in developing interim and long-term forest management plans.

Council waived North Cowichan’s procurement policy to enable the work to be solely done by the UBC team. UBC’s work will begin this fall, in alignment with the community engagement process.

Council gave first and second reading to a zoning amendment bylaw for the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.

Mark Holland, VIMC’s consulting planner, provided background information on the site and details of the proposal to expand its operations and rezone properties to a single comprehensive development zone.

Council also confirmed the application should be referred to the City of Duncan, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Tribes, Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association, Cowichan Watershed Society and the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society for comments.

A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 1 at 6 p.m. at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre to hear from the public on the application.

Confirmed details will be published in the local newspapers and North Cowichan’s website nearer to the date.

Council heard an update on the implementation of the Safer Community Plan and agreed to enter into a lease for a Community Safety Office at 490 Trans-Canada Highway. North Cowichan will be splitting the costs of the office with the City of Duncan and sharing costs for the funding of Community Safety Ambassadors as well.

The next Council meeting is Wednesday, September 4 at 1:30 p.m.

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