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Postponement of Cowichan Tribes election likely to impact North Cowichan

‘Technical database error’ blamed for the problem

Sudden postponement of the Cowichan Tribes election is likely to have repercussions for North Cowichan, including further delaying progress on various consultation issues, including the Municipal Forest Reserve.

A post on the Cowichan Tribes website from electoral officer Graeme Drew says that a “technical database error” resulted in some eligible voters failing to receive notice of the Dec. 3 election and election packages.

As a result, and “due to council’s wish to have a fair and democratic election, council have accepted my recommendation to start the election over,” with the following proposed dates: nomination meeting Jan., 14, 2022; election day, Feb. 25.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to candidates and voters by this decision and appreciate your understanding.”

Debra Toporowski sits as an elected member of both Cowichan Tribes and North Cowichan councils and is among nine candidates seeking election to a two-year term as Chief.

Toporowski took a leave of absence from North Cowichan council for the period Oct. 25 to Dec. 3 to allow her to pursue the Chief’s position.

North Cowichan and local First Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 17, 2021, on the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve that called for creation of a Working Group to conduct closed meetings “at least monthly” — with the “first meeting within 14 days.”

Three and a half months later, still no Working Group meeting has been set.

Meanwhile, a parallel public consultation process has resumed after a delay of more than a year.

Four Zoom workshops are now concluded, but citizens can still participate in an on-line survey:

Tell council what you love about the Forest Reserve and why you want to see it protected, be it for nature, recreation, viewscapes, etc.

Here are a couple of references on the issue of carbon credits for leaving the forest standing:,

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— Larry Pynn, Dec. 3, 2021


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