In a letter to the editor in the Chemainus Valley Courier Aug. 25, Bruce Findlay, a land developer and newly announced candidate for North Cowichan councillor, gives his perspective on how to fix the housing issue.
He wrote, “approve developments and roll out the red carpet for developers.” He also wrote, “elect forward-thinking, development-friendly councillors and mayor in October.”
In the Sept. 1 issue of the Cowichan Valley Citizen, an article written by Robert Barron with the headline, “Homelessness No. 1 concern for residents, survey finds,” this refers to the Citizen Satisfaction Survey conducted for North Cowichan. Not only are citizens concerned about homelessness but also only 47 per cent of respondents liked changes in North Cowichan vs. 76 per cent who said they liked changes in 2019.
When respondents who said they didn’t like changes and were unhappy, they were asked why. The top two reasons were “overdevelopment of land and poor leadership.”
This survey, along with the surveys conducted for the new North Cowichan Official Community Plan, clearly shows that citizens in North Cowichan want their community to continue to be rural. This flies in the face of election candidates like Bruce Findlay who believe rolling out the red carpet for developers is the answer to all the community’s needs.
Election candidates of Findlay’s ilk would rather have a building and development agenda driven council rather than listening to the citizens and dealing with the priorities that have been clearly stated in a host of citizen participated surveys.
This is my advice to election candidates whose goals are to take over this community and change it to look like Langford: do your homework. The majority of people here in North Cowichan do not want more sprawl, they want limits to growth and they want our community kept rural. The new OCP is the guiding light and must be adhered to.
Remember, hopeful election candidates, “homelessness is the No. 1 concern.” The citizens want well-researched solutions to complex issues made by a responsible council, responsible councillors who work for the needs and not agendas.