Editorial: Referendums threaten to get lost in election shuffle

Editorial: Referendums threaten to get lost in election shuffle

Most people’s default position is, understandably, “don’t raise my taxes”.

Most people’s default position is, understandably, “don’t raise my taxes”.

But there are some things that come along that are worth spending money on as a community.

In serious danger of getting lost in the shuffle during this fall’s municipal elections, when people around the Cowichan Valley will head to the polls to pick councils for the City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan, Town of Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District board, along with the school district board, are two very important referendums on topics of major note.

Already those who have been vocal on the topic seem to portend a decided “no” vote for the referendum on the CVRD implementing an affordable housing tax to create funding to address issues of affordable housing and homelessness in the region, two serious problems.

The second referendum is to establish a water service function at the CVRD that could take a regional approach to drinking water and watershed management issues. Think water conservation and the weir at Cowichan Lake, among others. As the Cowichan Valley sits squarely in a Level 4 drought, the highest level possible, with rivers threatening to run dry, it’s no small thing.

Approval for either of these ideas looks like an uphill battle. Foremost is the challenge of getting a decent number of voters out, and as previously stated, we bet the default for those who don’t choose to find out much about either plan will be “no thanks”.

So if you feel strongly about either of these issues, the time to campaign is now. Even though we’ve printed stories on both these topics numerous times we’d bet most people remain fuzzy on the details both of what’s being proposed and why.

Our hope is that people will at least take the time to find out before they cast their ballots.