Chemainus Residents Association AGM explored environment and economy

Nearly 60 people head thought-provoking presentations about the environment and economy during the meeting.

A crowd of nearly 60 turned out for the recent Annual General Meeting of the Chemainus Residents Association and elected directors for the year after hearing several thought-provoking presentations on the theme of “The Environment AND The Economy.”

The meeting first heard a welcome from Penelakut Chief Earl Jack on whose traditional territory the meeting was being held. Renée Racette, legal counsel for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, then talked about the displacement of First Nations people from the area that is now Chemainus.

Environmental leader Laurie Gourley traced the history of our changing consciousness about sustainability over the last several decades. More people see “the big picture” of the environment now and all manner of partnerships are being forged to address those issues. North Cowichan Coun. Kate Marsh presented a snapshot view of the municipality’s award-winning Climate Action and Energy Plan.

Bernie Jones reported on discussions with Anthem Properties, a Vancouver-based company which has purchased a sizable portion of downtown Chemainus.

Mayor Jon Lefebure added a quick update on key public projects in Chemainus. Most immediate of those will be the start of construction on Water Wheel Festival Square this spring. It is hoped that a long-awaited skateboard park will come to fruition as well. Lefebure also acknowledged the challenge for Penelakut First Nations to participate in Chemainus activities given ferry schedules.

The AGM also featured the election of six directors, who subsequently elected officers for the coming year: Kathy Wachs, chair; Bernie Jones, vice-chair and communications co-ordinator; Gus Kolaric, treasurer and membership co-ordinator; Lana Halme, secretary, and Lorraine Taylor and Teya Neddelin, directors.

— Submitted by the Chemainus Residents Association