Ensure your democratic rights

Bob Jamison wonders who is the winner in the Couverdon boundary extension proposal in Ladysmith.

Editor:

Re: Couverdon boundary extension

I believe the taxpayers of Ladysmith should be given the right to vote on this highly contentious issue. The Alternative Approval Process, although not illegal, is certainly immoral. The council seems to be counting on voter apathy in its apparent rush to complete the deal.

Who’s the winner in this deal?

Couverdon stands to make an enormous amount of money on it.

The Town will gain some small strips of land around Holland Lake and Stocking Lake, amounting to around five per cent to two per cent of the watershed. I fail to see how this will allow them to protect the watershed. Where is the water coming from?

It wasn’t that long ago when the Town decided that water meters were needed because of the dangerous lack of water. I believe this was a good thing and lowered water consumption greatly. But was it enough to cover all the expansion the Town is committing to?

Along with the 1,500 housing units proposed by Couverdon, the Town is also committed to developments such as Holland Creek, the north end of Rocky Creek, the south end of Russell Road, town infill, Stz’uminus First Nation, Oyster Bay, Four Corners, pipeline under the harbour to Indian Reserve 13, to name a few that I am aware of.

The length of time the Town can draw off the Holland Lake supply has decreased because of turbidity in the creek. The hatchery on Bush Creek is also noticing the same problem.

The mayor says this turbidity is caused by climate change. He said that when it rains now, it rains “harder.” I wonder, does it rain “wetter” too?

I believe the turbidity has been caused by the increase of logging in the watershed. This logging is going to continue, and ownership of two per cent of the watershed will do little to stop it. When I was logging in this area 45 years ago, we were subject to far more stringent controls than appear to be in place now. Being an outdoor enthusiast, I am in the area frequently and am able to observe firsthand what is happening. The logging companies contracted by TimberWest are logging over small feeder creeks, logging too close to fish-bearing streams and grading roads during wet weather and times of severe frost melt. They are getting away with this because the government recently turned over the policing of these lands to the logging companies; talk about the fox running the hen house.

I urge all the taxpayers of Ladysmith to pick up and sign a copy of the Elector Response Form to ensure your democratic rights.

Bob Jamison

Ladysmith