North Cowichan Mayor Survey

We asked all the candidates for mayor of North Cowichan the following questions:

  1. Do you believe local government should invest significant funds in nature interpretation for tourists and local citizens?
  2. Do you believe the CVRD should have a Regional Growth Management Plan?
  3. Would you support a bylaw to protect large healthy trees on private property?
  4. Would you support a bylaw to prohibit cosmetic uses of herbicides and pesticides on private property and in parks and public spaces?
  5. Do you support increased funding to increase the frequency and coverage of public transit?
  6. Would you support our local government enacting shoreline protection bylaws?
  7. Under what conditions would you support removing land from the Agricultural Land Reserve?
  8. Do you have any other comments about the relationship between local government and the natural environment?
  9. How can we learn more about you?

Three candidates responded. They all answered with “yes” to the first six questions except that both Tom Walker and John Lefebure did not respond either way to Question 3 about protecting trees. Here are their responses to Questions 7 and 8:

 

Tom Walker Possibly only if there was no net loss of ALR lands.
The ALR legislation is needed.
Local Gov’t has a great influence on natural environment.
Clayton Balabanov Only if the land has no agricultural value. Each level of government has an important role to play in helping to protect our environment.We need to pass a bylaw to allow electric cars, we need a tree bylaw, Echo Heights needs to be a ecological reserve… I have supported that for many years!
Jon Lefebure Removal of land from the ALR should only occur under special circumstances. The Agricultural Land Commission has allowed it when there is a Community benefit, the land is of poor agricultural quality and when an equal or greater amount of land is added to the ALR. I support the Commission’s efforts to increase the amount of land in the ALR and ensure there are adequate buffers between ALR and non-ALR Lands.Local government has the opportunity to be creative within its land use processes and in respect to land it owns, to add to the ALR. Our food security will one day depend on our actions now , not just to preserve the ALR but also to build it up. We all have an inherent responsibility to safeguard our natural environment. Local government must be a leader in recognizing our impacts on the environment and in trying to prevent or reduce negative impacts. This can happen at several levels, education being one of the most critical. Regulations and incentives can also be used to effect positive change.There is a question about trees on private land above that I could not answer yes or no – I believe we need more discussion. However, I can say that I would very much like to promote the planting of trees in general so that they are there for future generations. Incentives would work well for this purpose.