Upcoming Chemainus meeting will connect environment and economy

The Chemainus Residents Association's AGM Feb. 6 will look at the environment and the economy as they relate to Chemainus.

At its upcoming annual general meeting, the Chemainus Residents Association is looking to connect two words that are often pitted against one another — environment and economy.

With a theme of “The Environment AND The Economy,” the Chemainus Residents Association (CRA) annual general meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6 will address these issues as they relate to Chemainus. The meeting will take place from 7-9 p.m. upstairs at the Chemainus senior Centre.

Members and non-members alike are welcome.

Chemainus’ longstanding environmental issue is the fate of Echo Heights, the 54-acre Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem forest that the Municipality of North Cowichan is moving toward developing into housing, according to a press release from the CRA.

“Among Chemainus’ most pressing economic issues is the large number of vacant storefronts downtown, which detracts from the shopping experience for both local residents and tourists,” it states. “Vancouver-based Anthem Properties has recently purchased an acre-and-a-half of the Willow Street area with 11 commercial sites; their renovation plans and new leasing might represent a shot in the arm of the local economy.

Tackling these twin issues will be Hul’qumi’num Treaty Co-ordinator Renee Racette on a First Nation perspective on Echo Heights, Laurie Gourley from the Island Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy on sustainable development, and North Cowichan Coun. Kate Marsh on the award-winning Climate Change and Energy Plan. A report from Anthem Properties on the possible changes to Chemainus’ downtown will round out the presentations.

Audience comments and questions will be entertained.

The CRA board will present its Annual Report and Financial Report, as well as hold elections for officers for the coming year.

There will also be a silent auction for several art works.