Business View Magazine September 2018

298 299 CVRD Environmental Services Manager, Kate Miller, describes the importance of First Nations partnerships.“Within our region we have a number of First Nations–Cowichan Tribe is the largest in B.C.–and the CVRD is working closely with many of them in areas such as alternative power generation. They are coming into their own in terms of commu- nity visioning and we expect, in the next fewyears, to see substantial movement forward with how they see the development of the area and the impact on their traditional territories. It’s a very positive oppor- tunity for the region to align with them in a working relationship.They are significant partners in our economic development.” The CVRD is also looking at alternative power generation at a local level, from analysis of mi- cro-hydro, to wind power, and partnering with large timber companies for the use of bio-fuels for district energy. Long-term community planning is all about the science when it comes to public health issues such as monitoring air quality and water quality to protect local drinking water, to ensure the resources are available as the region grows, and to meet those needs now and in the future. Melmach describes the region as “diverse and multi-textured,with levels of complexity that are really interesting and challenging. But that’s the opportunity, as well,” she states.“We have a lot of dedicated people in the CVRD and within our larger community of First Nations -business people and interested community advocates who offer tremen- dous input into our planning processes.” For Carruthers, it’s all about partnerships.“Because of the depth of some of these issues, as a local gov- Proudly serving the Cowichan Valley Regional District since 2008! l Reduce l Reuse l Recycle PREFERRED VENDOR n Republic Services COWICHAN VALLEY REGIONAL DISTRICT, BRITISH COLUMBIA ernment,we simply don’t have the capacity to do it on our own. Cowichan 2050 is an initiative we’re just starting–a collaborative framework for local government, First Nations, and other key community partners to work together towards a common vision for the Cowichan Valley.” Miller sums it up well: “Under all of it,we’re a community that’s poised for the future and deeply cares about collaboration, so everybody benefits. This entire community is very open and excited about what’s ahead for the region and being part of the dialogue.”