Whether we care to believe it or not, Chemainus and Crofton clearly have an identity crisis within the Municipality of North Cowichan.
Few people outside of Vancouver Island really know where North Cowichan is, although the Cowichan part is a bit of a giveaway to the region, at least. But even fewer people in other parts of the province realize Chemainus and Crofton are contained within the North Cowichan boundaries, unless they’ve actually been here.
More of this came to light during the last windstorm that resulted in power outages throughout Chemainus, Crofton and Westholme. If you went to the BC Hydro website like we’re all instructed to do during power outages, even when you call the 1-800 BC Hydro number, you couldn’t find any mention of outages in Chemainus or Crofton or in North Cowichan, for that matter.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring even acknowledged that during a Facebook post for those residents who were puzzled about trying to find their outage location, whether a crew had been assigned and the approximate time before power would be restored.
The outage in Crofton could be located on the website under Duncan because a tree across power lines north of Herd Road was the reason for the outage to the community. Otherwise, nothing could be located under Crofton or North Cowichan itself.
If you dug around long enough, you would have found a map showing outages throughout Chemainus, Crofton and Westholme, but not specifically in the South Island list.
It’s the same for the upcoming provincial election and the boundaries for the federal ridings. Chemainus and Crofton clearly get lost in the shuffle. The fact there’s both a Nanaimo-North Cowichan and Cowichan Valley riding for the Oct. 24 provincial election has caused confusion among residents about which one we’re in.
Of course, there has been talk over the years of amalgamation between Duncan and North Cowichan that eventually didn’t go anywhere. At some point in the future, there needs to be a change so we’re actually on the map rather than hiding within North Cowichan whether it’s for power outages, elections or anything else.